White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki deflected pointed comments directed at the Biden administration from conservative journalists at a press briefing held on Monday.
Psaki held a briefing to discuss the rise of Coronavirus cases in the United States. COVID-19 cases are skyrocketing among the unvaccinated and the White House is urging anyone who has not done so to get vaccinated against the virus as soon as possible to avoid lengthening the pandemic.
During the briefing, two conservative journalists began suggesting the reason many citizens aren't getting vaccinated is because President Joe Biden isn't giving former President Donald Trump enough credit for the vaccines.
Watch video footage here:
One of the journalists, Fox News' Peter Doocy, asked Psaki if the Biden administration had specifically reached out to Trump to organize some kind of bipartisan PSA to convince more people to get vaccinated.
"Would President Biden ever call Trump and say, 'I need your help, let's cut a PSA and tell people to go do it'?"
Psaki responded, arguing the research on vaccine hesitancy suggests doctors, pastors, and local civic leaders are much more effective at convincing people to get vaccinated than politicians.
She also said "almost every former President" has put out some kind of outreach to urge citizens to get vaccinated against the Coronavirus.
She then slammed back Trump could easily do the same and put out his own PSA without Biden's backing.
"We don't believe that requires an embroidered invitation to be a part of."
Another conservative journalist, Jeff Mordock of The Washington Times, suggested to Psaki the reason people aren't getting vaccinated and are dying from the virus is because Biden isn't giving Trump enough credit for the creation of the vaccines.
The "credit" for the vaccines Mordock discusses is in reference to efforts by the Department of Health and Human Services funding some companies in their efforts to create and distribute COVID-19 vaccines during Trump's presidency.
"Would [the Biden administration] consider highlighting or acknowledging in a greater way [Trump's] role in creating the vaccines to assure the rural voters that still support President Trump that are hesitant to get the vaccine?"
Psaki, refusing to dignify the idea people are refusing vaccinations because Biden isn't praising Trump enough, retorted:
"Do you have data to suggest that that's the issue that's preventing people from getting vaccinated?"
Mordock fought back.
He argued while he didn't have evidence to back up his claim, the fact was many of the unvaccinated are people living in rural areas—many of whom are Trump supporters.
"What I'm asking you is if information related to whether or not the former president got credit is leading people not to get vaccinated, or is it information like 'Microchips in vaccines' and 'It'll cause infertility issues, causing health issues'?"
"Because you're drawing a few conclusions there that I haven't seen in data but maybe you have that information."
In response to this, Mordock shot back it was "common sense" nonvaccinated rural people care more about Biden being nice to Trump rather than not getting vaccinated due to online vaccine misinformation.
Psaki then shut down the argument, saying:
"What we're seeing is misinformation, traveling in a range of means—whether it's social media platforms, some forms of media, some elected officials is the biggest factor as it related to individuals not getting vaccinated."
People are loving seeing Psaki totally shutting these reporters down.
Others are agreeing with Psaki Trump doesn't need Biden's invitation to put out his own PSA urging his voters to get vaccinated.
Others still are flabbergasted at the idea Biden not being nice enough to Trump is why people are refusing vaccines.
With the pandemic still in force and a spike in new COVID-19 cases, hopefully more people will get vaccinated and keep themselves and those unable to be vaccinated safe.