Fox News reporter Peter Doocy grilled White House press secretary Jen Psaki at Monday's briefing over President Joe Biden's persisting language about COVID-19 being a "pandemic of the unvaccinated" in light of recent developments.
The exchange comes as the CDC is starting to elaborate on COVID-19 deaths more specifically. Dr. Walensky recently confirmed to the public that "over 75 percent" of pandemic deaths in a CDC study of 1.2 million vaccinated people had "at least four comorbidities." The CDC director went as far as saying vaccines no longer "prevent transmission" either.
That's what led to Monday's back-and-forth between Doocy and the White House spokeswoman. It happened in a briefing room that reintroduced seating restrictions for reporters because of the Omicron variant.
"I understand that the science says that vaccines prevent death. But I’m triple-vaxxed, still got COVID. You’re triple-vaxxed, still got COVID. Why's the President still referring to this as a 'pandemic of the unvaccinated'?" the reporter asked.
"Well I think, Peter, there's a significant difference between ... and you just experienced this, and not to expose your public health experience, but I can speak to mine as well. I had been triple-vaxxed. I had minor symptoms. There's a huge difference between that and being unvaccinated. You are 17 times more likely to go to the hospital if you're not vaccinated, 20 times more likely to die. And those are significant, serious statistics," replied Psaki. "So yes. The impact for people who are unvaccinated is far more dire than those who are vaccinated."
"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?" Doocy asked in a follow-up question to a confronted Psaki.
Psaki had this to say: "I think the President has said, as have we a number of times, that there will be breakthrough cases, there will be people who get COVID. Here, at different media organizations, at companies around the world, around the country, who have been vaccinated. But there’s a significant difference between being hospitalized or dying and being vaccinated with more mild symptoms."
This exchange comes as Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez revealed a positive COVID-19 diagnosis despite being triple-vaccinated. This not being the first of such cases regarding progressives in Washington, DC. The earlier news of Rep. Ayanna Pressley being COVID-positive at the beginning of the month, for example, came after news that Sen. Elizabeth Warren experienced the same.