Chief White House medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci continues to face mounting criticism, most recently in response to the release of thousands of emails, including some that seem to contradict his public statements during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amid widespread speculation on social media and among conservative pundits, however, not a single member of the White House press corps during Wednesday’s briefing asked about the controversy.
Psaki escapes tough questions
According to the Daily Caller, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki also declined to provide a voluntary statement or explanation for any of the perceived discrepancies between Fauci’s private emails and his advice to the American people.
After her opening remarks, Psaki fielded a number of questions from select reporters in the room, and Fauci’s name was reportedly not mentioned even once.
Instead, the scope of topics discussed included the latest Russian-linked cyberattack on a U.S. company and governmental changes in Israel.
While these and other current events are important issues worthy of a White House comment, many Americans believe BuzzFeed’s bombshell release of Fauci’s emails, obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request, also deserved some attention.
Amber Athey of The Spectator was in the room during the briefing and later revealed that she would have asked about the emails if given the chance — but Psaki did not call on her.
“Unfortunately I was not called on”
In a tweet on the matter, she declared: “I was going to ask about Fauci’s emails at today’s WH press briefing but unfortunately I was not called on.”
She went on to reveal that her “second question was going to be about Biden shutting down the State Dept investigation into COVID origins.”
Though clearly disappointed with the missed opportunity, Athey signaled that she expects to “be back in the briefing room in a few weeks depending on how the rotation shakes out.”
The origins of the pandemic have also gained attention in recent weeks in response to evidence that the virus might have escaped from a state-run laboratory in Wuhan, China.
Whether Fauci’s contradictions on issues like face masks and COVID-19’s origins were due to shifting opinions or something more sinister, the release of his private emails is a perfect opportunity to ask tough questions. As Athey later revealed, it was a missed opportunity.