There was utter chaos in the White House briefing room on Tuesday as press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre began shouting at reporters while scrambling to try to save Dr. Anthony Fauci from having to answer tough questions.
As it was Fauci’s final appearance prior to his retirement, reporters attempted to ask him about the origins of the Chinese coronavirus — but Jean-Pierre wouldn’t allow it.
The outgoing chief medical adviser to the White House spoke during the briefing about how Americans needed to get tested for COVID before attending Thanksgiving celebrations, stating that “everybody” should be vaccinated and boosted.
Dr. Fauci says you should get a covid test before you have Thanksgiving dinner with your family. I don’t think I’ve ever hated anyone more in American politics than Fauci. Not even a close second, honestly. pic.twitter.com/XaUU5llTrN
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) November 22, 2022
Meanwhile, reporters quickly began bombarding Fauci with questions about the origins of the virus.
As the reporters were shouting their questions at Fauci, Jean-Pierre stepped in — reprimanding anyone who dared question him about a subject he should be knowledgeable about, due to his line of work, all while refusing to call on certain reporters.
“We have a process here. I’m not calling on people who yell and you’re being disrespectful to your colleagues, and you’re being disrespectful to our guests,” the press secretary claimed while glaring at a reporter in one of the back rows.
“I will not call on you if you yell, and also, you’re taking time off the clock, because Dr. Fauci has to leave in a couple of minutes,” Jean-Pierre added, speaking to the reporters in the room.
“I’m done. I’m not getting into a back-and-forth with you,” the press secretary snapped.
Then, during a back and forth with reporters, Today News Africa’s Simon Ateba clapped back at Jean-Pierre — arguing that they were in the middle of a press briefing, and therefore she “needs to call from people across the room…She has a valid question.”
“She’s asking about the origin of COVID-19… Dr. Fauci is the best person to answer,” he added.
Jean-Pierre replied by stating: “I hear your question…But we’re not doing it the way you want it… I’m done.”
Kringe Jean Pierre rattles and shakes during utter MELTDOWN after reporter presses Fauci on origins of COVID:
"I'M DONE!" pic.twitter.com/w2de1o80Pk
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) November 22, 2022
This incident was just the latest clash between White House officials and members of the press.
As the DailyMail noted in their report, “While television journalists in the front rows can expect to ask questions every day, those sitting further back – or coming armed with awkward questions – feel hard done by when their raised hands are ignored.”