The tone-deaf Biden White House held a private briefing Thursday evening to discuss the baby formula shortage and COVID-19 vaccines with a select group of parents, parenting writers and influencers.
Hosted by President Biden’s spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre, the briefing featured transgender Adm. Rachel Levine, the father of two children before transitioning to a female and getting a divorce from his wife two years after the transition, and Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House coronavirus coordinator.
The special event was not on the day’s schedule and took place after the White House had called a lid for the day, according to New York Post reporter Steven Nelson.
WH briefing room right now: HHS assistant secretary Rachel Levine is taking Qs on baby formula crisis from moms, some of whom have strollers
Event wasn't on WH schedule or advertised to reporters, so caught everyone by surprise post-lid. 'What the hell is this?' one exclaims pic.twitter.com/xRap9EyytF
— Steven Nelson (@stevennelson10) June 16, 2022
NBC News White House correspondent Kelly O’Donnell also noted that the briefing came after a lid had been called, as did Bloomberg News correspondent Josh Wingrove:
The White House Briefing Room is in use right now for a session that appears to be about baby formula that is happening without the regular press corps with officials answering questions about formula. This is happening after the day’s “lid.” pic.twitter.com/c7vCKg0duk
— Kelly O’Donnell (@KellyO) June 16, 2022
Assistant Health Secretary Rachel Levine (@HHS_ASH), Covid Czar @AshishKJha46 and the @PressSec are doing a briefing this evening at the White House with a group of parents, parenting writers & influencers on pediatric vaccines and the formula shortage. pic.twitter.com/LzP94ZbzTK
— Josh Wingrove (@josh_wingrove) June 16, 2022
Levine refused to take questions from the press, according to Nelson.
“I’m not answering any questions. Thank you. Nice to meet you, though,” Levine told journalists while leaving the room, according to the Daily Mail.
Which is not to say that the transgender Biden official couldn’t find time to pose with babies present in the room.
After hosting faux press briefing on baby formula crisis, Admiral Levine posed with babies at WH podium
Ask by a reporter if she could say when President Biden learned of the crisis and from whom, she said:
‘I’m not answering any questions, thank you’ pic.twitter.com/mIqojVg0Az
— Steven Nelson (@stevennelson10) June 16, 2022
Levine also found time to share a tweet basking in the overflow of diversity in the Biden administration.
When the 1st openly gay @PressSec and the 1st openly trans @HHS_ASH & four-star admiral meet at the @WhiteHouse during #Pride. Proud to be a part of an administration where everyone can see themselves reflected in leadership. We've come so far. Here's to shattering more ceilings. pic.twitter.com/2XYdK8lJfr
— ADM Rachel Levine (@HHS_ASH) June 17, 2022
The admiral was asked twice about when President Biden was made aware of the baby formula crisis and who briefed the president on it, the Daily Mail reported.
The British newspaper asked White House Correspondents’ Association President Steven Portnoy for comment about the event kept from the American people.
“Any US government official who stands at that podium should be ready to take any question from any member of our press corps – particularly one that gets at accountability on an issue of importance to the whole country,” Portnoy said.
You may recall that Jean-Pierre gave reporters a different timeline on when Biden found out that baby formula would be in short supply, saying he first learned about in “late April,” this coming after he told reporters he had learned about the shortage in early April.
One of the largest plants in the nation that makes baby formula shut down in mid-February, with the foreseeable result being nationwide formula shortages. It wasn’t until mid-May that the president took executive action to address the crisis as mothers became increasingly desperate in their efforts to feed their babies.
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