A new report speculates that United States Treasurer Janet Yellen may have been hallucinating from psychedelic mushrooms during a recent visit to China before heading to an official function where she repeatedly bowed to her Chinese counterpart in front of the cameras.
CNN reported that Yellen ducked into a local Beijing restaurant immediately after landing on July 6th, using her “impressive” chopstick skills to down a bowl of jian shou qing, which contains mushrooms known for their “unique properties” that in some cases include hallucinogenic experiences that can last for days.
An aide to the treasury secretary confirmed to the outlet that she did indeed eat the dish.
Immediately following the meal, Yellen met with Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng where she bowed profusely as the two shooks hands.
One food expert who described the mushroom dish to a Chinese news outlet following Yellen’s visit said feelings of vertigo that follow can be disorienting.
“You thought you were walking straight but you just fell sideways,” said the restauranteur.
“I have a friend who mistakenly ate them and hallucinated for three days,” Dr. Peter Mortimer, a professor at Kunming Institute of Botany, told CNN.
Jian shou qing, which translates literally to “see hand blue,” describes the mushrooms’ blue-hued inner surface that forms when pressure is applied, usually during cutting in the food-preparing process. The family of mushrooms is technically considered poisonous, and it’s unknown what compound they contain which causes the hallucinations.
A host at the restaurant visited by Yellen described her visit as an “extremely magical day” according to the New York Post.
The Biden administration sent Yellen abroad in its latest attempt to thaw relations with China, though whether the visits by the treasury secretary and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken have any positive effect remains to be seen. The communist nation continues to lend tacit support to Russia during its ongoing war against Ukraine while teaming up with Russia and Iran for military exercises to taunt the United States. In a gesture of how far the Biden administration is bending to genuflect, Secretary Blinken recently took the position that America does not support Taiwanese independence, which observers took to mean that the U.S. would not interfere if China chose to invade its island neighbor.