‘Why Do You Need to Have That Information?’ WH Press Sec. Psaki Grills Reporter When Pressed for WH COVID Cases

Craig Bannister | July 23, 2021 | 5:19pm EDT
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WH Press Sec. Jen Psaki

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki challenged a reporter’s need to know the number breakthrough cases of COVID among the White House staff.

If the Biden Administration is sincere about its claim of transparency, why won’t it release the number of White House staff coronavirus breakthrough cases, a reporter asked Psaki on Friday:

"This administration has long claimed that you’re trying to be the most transparent in history. If that's the case why don’t you just release the number of breakthrough cases that you have with vaccinated staffers." 

Psaki replied that “We’re in a much different place than we were six to seven months ago, as it relates to the virus. And, as many medical experts have said inside and outside of the government, those who are vaccinated are protected from serious illness.”

“Why not just provide the number? Are you trying to hide something?” the reporter asked, prompting Psaki to demand the reporter justify her “need” for the information:

"Why do you need to have that information?"

"Transparency. The interest of the public. A better understanding of how breakthrough cases work here in the White House," the reporter replied.

Psaki, then, went on to describe how data on COVID cases is collected.

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