Fox's Peter Doocy asked Jen Psaki on Monday about the federal government's position regarding vaccine mandates, including local mandates and those in the private sector.
"Does President Biden agree with Dr. Fauci that, at the local level, there should be more vaccine mandates?"
"Well, I don't have the full context of Dr. Fauci's comment in front of me, but I will say that..." Psaki starts in. Doocy stops her with, "I do have it here."
"Oh, go ahead. Let's hear it", responds a strained Psaki.
"He said, 'I've been of this opinion, and I remain of that opinion, that I do believe that at the local level, Jake [Tapper], there should be more mandates, there really should be. We're talking about a life-and-death situation; we've lost 600,000 Americans already, and we're still losing more people.'"
Psaki replied, "Well, I would say first, from the federal government – if I remember the context of the question, it was about federal mandates, I believe, correct me if I'm wrong, – that's not a decision that we are making. That's not a .... that is not our intention from the federal government."
"There will be decisions made by private-sector entities, by universities, by educational institutions, and even perhaps by local leaders, should they decide that is how to keep their community safe. If they decide to make that decision, we certainly support them in that step," concluded Psaki.
"The President said on Mar. 11 'My message to you is this: listen to Dr. Fauci.' Is he now saying 'Don't listen to Dr. Fauci'?" pressed Doocy. Sardonically, Psaki replied "Welcome back," to Doocy before continuing:
"I would say that what Dr. Fauci was conveying is that there will be decisions made by local leaders, just like there will be decisions made by business leaders, by institutional leaders, on how they can keep their communities safe, and we support their right to make those decisions."