Dr. Anthony Fauci, the veritable face of the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic who is set to retire at the end of the year, appeared at Tuesday’s White House press briefing for what was likely the last time ever.
The briefing soon devolved into a shouting match, however, as White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre condescendingly dismissed and ignored legitimate repeated questions from certain reporters for Fauci about the origin of the virus, RedState reported.
It was just the latest example of Jean-Pierre’s tendency to only call on generally friendly reporters and to either ignore or display hostility toward those who ask questions that the administration would prefer not to answer.
Jean-Pierre runs interference for Fauci
Tuesday’s briefing began normally enough, with Jean-Pierre heralding Dr. Fauci as though he were the greatest doctor and scientist to ever walk the earth, but that changed after a couple of initial questions when the Daily Caller’s Diana Glebova asked Fauci if he had “personally investigated” the origin of COVID but was ignored and another reporter was called on instead.
Our WH reporter @DianaGlebova tried to ask Dr. Fauci about COVID origins…
KJP blocks her question and immediately moves on. pic.twitter.com/oNJuNZjyrP
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) November 22, 2022
That topic was raised again a couple of questions later, but Jean-Pierre said the reporter was “being disrespectful” and attempted to move on again. This time, however, a couple of other journalists spoke up in Glebova’s defense, including Steven Nelson of the New York Post and Simon Ateba of Today News Africa — who has repeatedly clashed with and been ignored by Jean-Pierre on multiple occasions in the past.
Both Nelson and Ateba noted that Glebova’s question was “valid,” that many Americans had the same question, and that Fauci was the “best person” to answer that legitimate question.
Ateba further pointed out the obvious to anyone who has watched the briefings, that Jean-Pierre always called on the same people and ignored questions from others she quite clearly disfavored.
After some shouting back and forth, Jean-Pierre eventually told Ateba, “Simon, I’m done. I’m done with you right now.”
Things took a turn in the briefing room. Jean-Pierre tells a reporter “I’m done with you” pic.twitter.com/GQPnGZusAM
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) November 22, 2022
Fauci will have to answer questions from Congress
While this was most likely the last time that Dr. Fauci would appear in the briefing room and take questions from reporters, it is almost certainly not the last time that the American people will hear from him, as Fauci will undoubtedly be compelled to answer questions from House Republicans in multiple committee hearings next year.
At least then he will have to answer the many valid and pertinent questions that millions of Americans share without having someone like Jean-Pierre to cover and protect him from queries that he’d rather not respond to.