‘I think you’re misunderstanding the process’: Psaki snaps at reporter during grilling on COVID origins and insists it’s down to WHO and not the US to investigate the Wuhan lab following ‘leak’ reports
- White House press secretary Jen Psaki lost her patience with Fox News ‘ Peter Doocy at Monday’s press briefing
- ‘I think you’re misunderstanding how this process actually works,’ she told the journalist at one point
- Doocy was asking about a report that said three researchers from the Wuhan lab were hospitalized in November 2019, a month before China’s first COVID-19 case
- He pressed Psaki on what the U.S. was doing to get to the bottom of how the coronavirus pandemic started
- ‘With 589,920 dead Americans at what point does President Biden say we don’t want to wait for the WHO effort?’ Doocy said
White House press secretary Jen Psaki lost her patience with Fox News‘ Peter Doocy at Monday’s press briefing as he pressed her on whether the White House was doing enough to expose the origins of COVID-19.
‘I think you’re misunderstanding how this process actually works,’ she told the journalist at one point, as they went back and forth several times on the role the United States should play in an investigation into COVID’s genesis.
Doocy was asking about a Wall Street Journal story that cited a U.S. intelligence report that said three researchers from China‘s Wuhan Institute of Virology had sought hospital care in November 2019, a month before China reported its first COVID-19 case.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki snapped at Fox News’ Peter Doocy, ‘I think you’re misunderstanding how this process actually works’ as he asked her about whether the U.S. is doing enough to investigate COVID-19’s origins
Fox News’ Peter Doocy ( front row, center) asked White House press secretary Jen Psaki questions about the U.S.’s role in investigating the origins of COVID-19 at Monday’s White House press briefing
Pointing to the Journal’s reporting, Doocy asked, ‘So why isn’t President Biden pushing for more access, more information to get to the bottom of exactly what happened?’
‘We are and we have repeatedly called for the [World Health Organization] to support an expert-driven, evaluation of the pandemic’s origins that is free from interference or politicization,’ Psaki responded.
‘During that first phase of the investigation, there was not access to data, there was not information provided,’ Psaki continued. ‘Now we’re hopeful that WHO can move into a more transparent, independent phase two investigation.’
Doocy then asked Psaki if the U.S. should be the one leading the investigation instead.
‘But with 589,920 dead Americans at what point does President Biden say we don’t want to wait for the WHO effort, we don’t know what they’re doing, this needs to be an American-led effort to get to the bottom of what happened?’ he said.
Psaki answered the U.S. government would still need access to the ‘underlying data and information’ from the Chinese.
‘He talks all the time about how he’s known President Xi for a long time, so why can’t he just call and ask him that information?’ Doocy replied.
Psaki then snapped back that Doocy must not understand how the process worked.
‘An international investigation led by the World Health Organization is something that we’ve actually been pressing for for several months, in coordination with a range of partners from around the world,’ she answered.
‘We need that data, we need that information from the Chinese government,’ she reiterated.
‘What we can’t do, and what I would caution anyone doing, is leaping ahead of an actual international process. We don’t have enough data and information to jump to a conclusion at this point in time,’ the press secretary added.
Doocy tried one more time.
‘So is there any amount of casualties from COVID in this country that would make you not want to wait for an international effort and just do it as …’ he said.
The end of his question got talked over by Psaki.
‘I think the family members of the loved ones whose lives have been lost deserve accurate information, data, not the jumping to a conclusion without having the information necessary to conclude what the origins are,’ she said.
‘What we do share everyone in this country is a desire to know how this started, where it started and prevent it from ever happening again,’ she added. ‘That’s something we all share.’