White House Press Sec. Jen Psaki refused on Friday to give a reporter a definitive answer as to how many people in the White House have tested positive for COVID after having been fully vaccinated.
A reporter asks Psaki, "This administration has long claimed the you're trying to be the most transparent in history. If that's the case, why won't you just release the number of breakthrough cases that you have of vaccinated staffers?"
"Well, I think, first we are in a very different place than we were six to seven months ago, as it relates to the virus."
"As many medical experts have said, inside and outside of the government, those who are vaccinated are protected from serious illness. Most are asymptomatic if they are individuals who are vaccinated to get the virus."
"And, we're in a different place in terms of the impact of individuals who may have, as you have said, breakthrough cases."
"But why not just provide the number?" responded the reporter. "Are you trying to hide something?"
Psaki then gets defensive, saying, "No, but, why do you need to have that information?"
"[It's] A case of transparency, in the interest of the public building a better understanding of how breakthrough cases work here in the White House," was the reply.
At this point, Psaki referred the journalist to the Center for Disease Control (CDC)'s information which is widely available to the public, mentioning that "the CDC is actively tracking breakthrough cases", and going on to mention other studies the CDC has been undertaking.
"So, there's a range of means our public health officials are tracking across the country, across DC, across any individuals here, about who is vaccinated, who is getting the virus, getting hospitalized, hopefully not, remains a small percentage."