White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki once again was forced to explain basic facts to Fox News reporter Peter Doocy, as his network has been suggesting without any evidence the CDC’s decision to change mask guidance was a political decision to distract from other issues.
These are two of Fox News’ mobile alerts on the decision to announce fully vaccinated Americans can now forgo social distancing protocols including mask wearing.
Here’s how the conservative network’s White House correspondent Peter Doocy, who is not a medical doctor, immunologist, virologist, or scientist, tried to make news.
“There are a lot of questions about the timing of the CDC’s announcement yesterday,” he said, after Fox News for the better part of a year has been actively spreading false information on masks and the coronavirus. “So, did somebody at the Biden administration or in the Biden administration update this guidance for political reasons?”
“No,” Psaki replied.
“What was the medical or scientific reason – what was the big breakthrough to do this yesterday?” Doocy asked.
(Yesterday, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky spent about 30 minutes discussing with the American people in a nationally-televised news conference the current state of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., and the reasons why CDC has decided to change its guidance now. Among those reasons are two studies that show the incredible effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines.)
“Well, I know that Dr. Walensky did an extensive number of interviews yesterday to answer exactly that question, but as we’ve talked in here quite a bit about the CDC not just Dr. Walensky but her entire team of health and medical experts are constantly reviewing the data to ensure that they can provide accurate and up to date guidance to the American people,” Psaki explained. “So, based on three factors as she talked about yesterday, vaccines work in the real world, we’ve seen a lot of studies done on that including internally in the federal government. Vaccines stand up to the variants which at various times, has been a concern about the need to continue to mask, even as you, after you’re vaccinated and vaccinated people are less likely to transmit the virus – that’s how they came to the decision, and that’s what she conveyed yesterday when she announced the decision.”
Ignoring all the science and the reasons both Dr. Walensky and Psaki offered, Doocy delivered his own reasons for why he seemed to think the mask mandate should continue.
“Just looking at the CDC website, on the way up here only 45.6% of U.S. adults have been fully vaccinated as of yesterday, only 58.9% of the adult population has, has at least one dose. So, what happened to President Biden’s saying in March that he thought, lifting mask mandates before every adult American goes and gets a shot is ‘Neanderthal thinking’?”
“Well first let me say that the President our North Star has been listening to the guidance of our health and medical experts in teams and that’s exactly what we’re doing in this case. And just to reiterate, the CDC, the doctors and medical experts there were the ones who determined what this guidance would be based on their own data, and what the timeline would be. That was not a decision, directed by made by the White House. It was informed the White House was informed of that decision, just to give people assurance of that,” Psaki added.
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‘Let Me Finish – Peter Let Me Give You the Facts’: Psaki Slams Doocy Over False Fox News Framing of Gas Prices
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki took off the gloves Monday afternoon, pummelling Fox News propagandist Peter Doocy left and right over his false framing of the increase in gas prices, and urging him to let her deliver the facts even though, she said, “I know that can be inconvenient, but I think they’re important in this moment.”
“It sounds like you guys are blaming Putin for the increase in gas prices recently,” a combative Doocy out of the gate told Psaki. “But weren’t gas prices going up anyway because of post-pandemic supply chain issues?”
Citing outside analysts Psaki told Doocy “there’s no question” the increase in gas prices “is a direct result of the invasion of Ukraine.”
“It sounds like you guys are blaming Putin for the increase in gas prices recently, but weren’t gas prices going up anyway because of post-pandemic supply chain issues?” — Peter Doocy pic.twitter.com/7ybbtJGjuA
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 7, 2022
Despite having his false framing shot down Doocy pressed ahead.
“So you say that you’re going to do everything that you can to reduce the impact that high gas prices have on Americans. We’re asking other countries to think about maybe pumping more oil. Why not just do it here?”
“Well,” Psaki continued her education of Doocy, “to be very clear federal policies are not limiting the supply of oil and gas to the contrary –” she said as Doocy interrupted her. “Let me finish – to the contrary, let me finish.”
“Peter, let me, let me give you, let me give you the facts here,” Psaki urged, “and I know that can be inconvenient, but I think they’re important in this moment.”
After more back-and-forth she added: “We have actually produced more oil, it is at record numbers and we will continue to produce more oil – there are 9000 drilling permits that are not being used. So the suggestion that we are not let allowing companies to drill is inaccurate. The suggestion that that is what is hindering or preventing gas prices to come down is inaccurate.
“Would President Biden rescind his executive order that halts new oil and natural gas leases on public lands?” Doocy asked.
“Well, 90% of them happen on private lands, as I’m sure you know, and there are 9000 unused approved drilling permits. So I would suggest you ask the oil companies why they’re not using those if there’s a desire to drill more.”
Having totally struck out, Doocy insisted on asking even more questions.
“Would President Biden ever undo this executive order that stopped the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline?” he asked.
“Are you suggesting that would solve the gas prices issue?” Psaki inquired.
“Well, do you think that that would maybe affect prices faster than getting the whole country off of fossil fuels?” Doocy, who is not an energy expert or an economist, wondered.
“I actually don’t think it would,” Psaki said. “Keystone was not an oil field. It’s a pipeline. Also the oil is continuing to flow in just through other means. So it actually would have nothing to do with the current supply imbalance.”
“Let me give you the facts here. And I know that can be inconvenient, but I think they’re important in this moment” — Jen Psaki to Peter Doocy pic.twitter.com/9sXR0gSSB5
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 7, 2022
‘Well to Put It in Full Context, Peter’: Psaki Kicks Off Week Smacking Down Doocy With Truth Cocktail
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki kicked the week off with a Monday briefing and wasted no time correcting Fox News’ Peter Doocy, who had used a wholly out-of-context question to falsely attack President Joe Biden.
“Before Joe Biden was president he said the COVID travel restrictions on foreign countries were ‘hysterical,’ ‘xenophobia’ and ‘fear mongering.’ So what changed?” Doocy demanded.
“Well, I would say first to put in full context, Peter, what the President was critical of was the way that the former President put out, I believe, a xenophobic tweet, and had and how he, what he called the coronavirus, and who he directed it at. The President has not been critical of travel restrictions. We have put those in place ourselves. We put them in place ourselves in the spring, but no he does not believe – he believes we should follow the advice of health and medical experts. That’s exactly what he did, and putting in place these restrictions over the weekend.”
In fact, as Politifact noted in March of 2020, “Biden has not directly said that the restrictions were xenophobic.”
“Around the time the Trump administration announced the travel restriction, Biden said that Trump had a ‘record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering,'” Politifact added. He did not call travel restrictions “hysterical,” “xenophobia,” or “fear mongering.”
Here’s that Biden tweet from Feb. 2020:
We are in the midst of a crisis with the coronavirus. We need to lead the way with science — not Donald Trump’s record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering. He is the worst possible person to lead our country through a global health emergency.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) February 1, 2020
Politifact added that “Biden used the phrase ‘xenophobic’ in reply to a Trump tweet about limiting entry to travelers from China and in which Trump described the coronavirus as the ‘Chinese virus.'”
Here’s that tweet, from March 2020:
Stop the xenophobic fear-mongering. Be honest. Take responsibility. Do your job. https://t.co/nQ5aLVrpyb
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) March 18, 2020
WH Press Sec. Psaki responds to Fox News’ Peter Doocy’s bad-faith question about travel restrictions:
“What the president was critical of was the way that the former president put out, I believe, a xenophobic tweet, and what he called the coronavirus and who he directed it at.” pic.twitter.com/O86c8GuaEg
— The Recount (@therecount) November 29, 2021
Psaki Shuts Down Doocy: Donald Trump Was ‘Suggesting People Inject Poison Into Their Veins’
Despite Fox News spending the better part of a year injecting anti-vaxx hysteria into America, Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy on Wednesday tried to blame President Joe Biden for the “vaccine hesitancy” that exists almost exclusively among Republicans.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was not having any of it, and was forced to remind Doocy and America of the time Trump suggested injecting “disinfectant” into the veins of human beings to cure COVID-19:
“And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out, in a minute,” Trump said in April of 2020. “Is there a way we can do something like that? By injection, inside, or almost a cleaning, ’cause you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it would be interesting to check that. You’re going to have to use medical doctors, right? But it sounds interesting to me.”
Doocy, in a clearly pre-written speech designed to be replayed on Fox News programming, told Psaki that “last year around this time the previous administration was rushing to get a vaccine authorized, and the-now president said, ‘I trust vaccines, I trust scientists, but I don’t trust Donald Trump, and at this moment the American people can’t either.'”
“Well,” Psaki replied, “I think it’s safe to say he still doesn’t touch trust Donald Trump, so that hasn’t changed, but he does trust scientists, he does trust data experts, and he does trust the people leading the CDC, the FDA – which is the gold standard of approval for vaccines, I’d also note because this question often comes up, that the President has repeatedly given credit to scientists and experts from the prior administration, even as recently as just a few weeks ago, for their role in moving the vaccine forward.”
Doocy, refusing to concede to facts, retorted that “at the time, when Donald Trump is out there saying ‘we’re gonna have a vaccine in the next couple of weeks, next couple months,’ and Joe Biden is out on the campaign trail saying, ‘Don’t trust Donald Trump,’ did that create any kind of vaccine hesitancy?”
Many Americans at the time said they would not trust the vaccine because they believed Trump would force the FDA to approve a vaccine too soon, just so he could get re-elected. His own White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, in the middle of September all but promised the vaccine would be approved by the end of that month.
“Not that we’ve seen in the data. I would note that at the time, just for context, the former president was also suggesting people inject versions of poison into their veins to cure COVID. So I think that’s a relevant point.”
“I would note that at the time, just for context, the former president was also suggesting people inject versions of poison into their veins to cure Covid” — Jen Psaki to Peter Doocy pic.twitter.com/qdnySKMR3B
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 11, 2021
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