Politics

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki clashes with Fox News reporter over vaccines

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Monday clashed with a Fox News reporter over President Joe Biden calling the COVID-19 crisis a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

Fox News’ Peter Doocy, who returned to the White House briefing room on Monday after he tested positive for COVID-19, hinted that Biden’s characterization of the pandemic didn’t take into account the high number of fully vaccinated Americans who had contracted the virus.

“I understand the science says that vaccines prevent death. But I’m triple vaxxed, still got COVID. You’re triple vaxxed, still got COVID,” Doocy told Psaki, referencing when the fully vaccinated press secretary contracted the virus in October. “Why is the president still referring to this as a pandemic of the unvaccinated?”

Psaki said unvaccinated people infected with COVID-19 were much more likely to require treatment in hospital or die than those who are vaccinated. “I had been triple vaxxed,” Psaki said, meaning she received two vaccine shots and a booster. “I had minor symptoms. There’s a huge difference between that and being unvaccinated.”

Psaki cited data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which reads: “You’re 17 times more likely to go to the hospital if you’re not vaccinated, 20 times more likely to die.”

The CDC also found that unvaccinated people were 10 times more likely to test positive for the virus than unvaccinated people, despite a surge in breakthrough cases.

“Those are significant, serious statistics,” she added. “So yes, the impact for people who are unvaccinated is far more dire than those who are vaccinated.”

Doocy pressed further about Biden’s language. “Will the president update his language at some time to be more reflective of the fact that people who are triple vaccinated are catching and spreading COVID?” he asked.

The White House has made clear that vaccinated people can still test positive for COVID-19, cases known as breakthrough infections, Psaki said, reiterating the “significant difference” between the unvaccinated and vaccinated when they get COVID-19.

The daily average of COVID-19 hospitalizations for the week ending January 4 was 16,458, according to the CDC

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH 

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: VANITY FAIR

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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