White House press secretary Jen Psaki was being dead serious about COVID vaccines during a press briefing this week but her choice of words sparked a moment of laughter among reporters.
The topic of Vice President Kamala Harris’ recent Covid diagnosis came up during the press briefing on Wednesday, with Psaki addressing the type of treatment she was receiving.
During her remarks, Psaki mentioned how COVID vaccines can help prevent “severe death,” causing a moment of laughter in the room as she noted that perhaps her phrasing was “a little intense.”
(Relevant portion in White House video below begins at 14;19 mark):
“It seems like every time there’s a high-profile announcement that someone has gotten COVID — be it a member of Congress, AG Garland, people at the Gridiron dinner — people take it as proof that vaccines don’t work,” Huffington Post reporter S.V. Dáte said.
“So, what about the White House’s messaging could be better on that, given that 234,000 Americans died?” he asked Psaki.
“Yeah. Well, first, I would say the truth, is — which is, I think, why you’re asking me this question — is quite the contrary,” the press secretary responded.
“I mean, the vice president is continuing to carry out her duties, as the vice president of the United States, from home, engaging in meetings, policy discussions — I’m sure you’ll see her in some capacity publicly from home as well — because she is double boosted and she has taken the steps to protect herself, like we have continued to recommend other Americans do,” Psaki continued.
“So, I would note that while the vaccine — the reason to take the vaccine is, of course, because it can protect you from severe death — from death, from severe illness,” she said, catching herself.
“‘Severe death, that was a little intense how I said that,” she added to laughter in the room, “from death or severe illness, and it — by multitudes of numbers.”
“And, you know, we’re going to continue — and if you are eligible for a booster as she was, as the president was, we recommend you get that for a second booster, because it can put you in a position where even if you get COVID, you’re able to still not — experience minimal symptoms or no symptoms, like the vice president has been, and to continue to go about daily life the best you can while you’re quarantining,” Psaki concluded.
The moment continued to reverberate on social media:
“So, I would note that while the vaccine — the reason to take the vaccine is, of course, because it can protect you from severe death…”
—@PressSec Jen Psaki 4/27/22
— Larry Elder (@larryelder) April 29, 2022
White House press secretary Jen Psaki just informed everyone that getting the Covid vaccine helps protect you from “severe death” that’s comforting, as opposed to what “moderate death”?😂
— Ron (@nite_angel98) April 29, 2022
I guess she had a “Biden” moment.
— miguel artiga (@miguel_artiga) April 29, 2022
Too bad there isn’t a vaccine for this administration
— Asta’sDaddy (@Asta_sDaddy) April 29, 2022
With one you die and with the other, you die hard. Or something like that. If Psaki said it, must be true. Just ask the Truth Bureau.
— danluck (@danluckoriginal) April 29, 2022
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