On Monday, Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy started a new week by making the most of the delayed press briefing, questioning Press Secretary Jen Psaki about the left’s Covid double standards in light of former President Obama throwing a massive birthday party and the administration letting illegal immigrants continue to flow into the country amidst a global pandemic.
Elsewhere in the briefing, reporters pressed Psaki from the left on attacking Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL), evictions, social media censorship, and using executive power to give a middle finger to the court system. Prior to Psaki, they did the same with American Rescue Plan coordinator Gene Sperling on evictions.
Doocy was the fifth reporter called on during Psaki’s Q&A and hit the ground running with this concise question about the border: “About public health at the border, is the President concerned that migrants who are coming in in great numbers are not being tested for Covid at their first point of contact with Border Patrol?”
Psaki insisted Doocy needed “a little bit of an understanding of what actually happens when people come across the border,” which includes the claim that Title 42 continues to be in effect, meaning “families and single adults are expelled, if possible, when apprehended at the southern border.”
With this illogical thinking, one could then extrapolate that expelled illegal immigrants pose little in terms of a health risk for border agents.
Nonetheless, Psaki persisted, adding that “who can’t be expelled” receive “PPE from the moment they are taken into custody and migrants are required to keep masks on at all times” and are isolated and treated “if anyone exhibits signs of illness, in CBP custody.”
Doocy then shifted to Obama’s 60th birthday party in Martha’s Vineyard: “[A]bout Covid safety, is President Obama setting the wrong example of how dangerous Covid is by hosting a big birthday party with hundreds of people this week?”
After saying he should contact Obama’s team for “more specifics,” Psaki defended the party amid new fears about the virus (driven by the liberal media and their allies) because he’s “been a huge advocate of individuals getting vaccinated.”
Psaki explained that, along with the party being outside in a “moderate zone” of transmission, it will have “testing requirements and other steps” in place.
Gee, must be nice to have your own testing operation.
Doocy kept pressing and even went as far as asking if it could “become a superspreader event” and send a message to people that they too can have large parties since Obama is having one (click “expand”):
DOOCY: But is there any concern, just because as you said here, and you’ve had people saying over the past couple days, vaccinated people can still spread this Delta variant around. So is there a concern that this President Obama birthday party might become a super spreader event?
PSAKI: I think, Peter, the guidance is about what steps people can take when they are in public settings, indoor settings specifically was the new guidance to keep themselves and others safe. In terms of what protocols they are taking, I would refer to them and I’m sure they could give you more details.
DOOCY: And just last one, so, people who are watching this at home and they see, well, Obama can have a party with several hundred people, should they think that it is okay for them to have a party with several hundred now?
PSAKI: Well, we advise everyone to follow public health guidelines, which I know the former President, who is a huge advocate of getting vaccinated, of following the guidance of public health experts would advocate for himself as well.
In Sperling’s portion, PBS’s Yamiche Alcindor used American tax dollars to peddle her far-left agenda, urging the administration to “force the Supreme Court to” rule on the legality of unilaterally extending eviction moratoriums despite the possibility that it could “strike down the administration’s broad use of public health laws for other policies.”
ABC’s Cecilia Vega played off of that exchange, repeatedly asking Sperling to provide a number about “[h]ow many people does this White House believe could lose their home because of this.”
During Psaki’s portion, the AP’s Jonathan Lemire and The Slice Report’s Mona Austin followed suit in running point for the likes of Congresswoman Cori Bush (D-MO).
After The Washington Post’s Matt Viser wondered whether it’s still safe for vaccinated people to gather inside and NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell teed Psaki up to attack DeSantis on Covid, Reuter’s Nandita Bose was curious about whether White House pressure for social media companies to “vaccine misinformation” has contributed to increased vaccinations (click “expand”):
BOSE: One on vaccine misinformation. Since President Biden and the Surgeon General, you know, have spoken about the issue. You have spoken about it as well. Has the White House seen the companies, specifically Facebook and the other social media companies, take any steps to address vaccine misinformation, any notable changes that you have seen?
PSAKI: It’s a really great question. I will talk to our team and see if there are specific — specific notes of improvement that we can call out. I’m happy to do that or connect you with them directly.
BOSE: And just so, the reason I ask is, you know, we are seeing this increase in vaccinations again and that seems to be tied to the number of cases going up. But we’re just sort of wondering if there is anything we can tie that to, maybe some of the misinformation campaigns being contained?
PSAKI: Well, look, I think that it is hard to draw one step in any local community. But there’s no question — you see this anecdotally through a lot of your reporting, which is where people see their neighbor got a vaccine. Their friends got a vaccine and they are okay. And on the flip side of it, they had a friend or neighbor who was hospitalized and it made them go and get a vaccine. So, certainly, it’s an ongoing battle against misinformation. It is not just on Facebook, thought that is a mechanism for traveling, no question, it is through a range of mediums. We all have responsibility. But we certainly are seeing in the states where there are higher case rates, we have seen record rates of — I should say very encouraging rates of vaccination, and that could be because a number of factors[.]
To see the relevant transcript from August 2’s briefing, click here.