White House press secretary Jen Psaki is under fire for the glib answer she gave to NPR’s Mara Liasson after she dared to ask why the Biden administration was putting in place such a complex system to reimburse the insured for the cost of their at-home tests instead of just making the tests available for free around the country.
“Should we just send one to every American,” Psaki “somewhat mockingly” asked:
Jen Psaki somewhat mockingly asks reporter at the White House Daily Press Briefing if the US should be sending out rapid #COVID19 tests to every household.
— Matt Karolian (@mkarolian) December 6, 2021
“I can’t believe this isn’t an SNL spoof of the last two years of my life,” tweeted wpidemiologist Michael Mina:
I can’t believe this isn’t an SNL spoof of the last two years of my life.
— Michael Mina (@michaelmina_lab) December 7, 2021
Brown University professor Emily Oster, who’ve we’ve quoted before here at Twitchy, said she’s “appalled by this answer”:
I'm appalled by this answer, in part due the the tone. But also it suggests no one is talking about doing this — free, widely available tests — even though many other countries are. I just do not get it. https://t.co/BXJ3xJhczJ
— ProfEmilyOster (@ProfEmilyOster) December 7, 2021
The distribution model Liasson suggested in her question already exists in the UK, for example:
When I was in the UK over the summer I walked into a pharmacy and said "can I have some tests" and they gave me seven for free, so yeah why not. https://t.co/XFEyImXTVl
— Mike Bird (@Birdyword) December 7, 2021
And imagine if a Trump White House official took this tone with journos? OOOH BOY:
Last week I said the US government SHOULD mail free rapid tests out.
Apparently @PressSec disagrees and this is literally the worst minute at the WH podium she’s had.
— Jeremy Faust MD MS (ER physician) (@jeremyfaust) December 7, 2021
Yes, there *is* a story here:
When will a journalist cover this story? There is obviously corruption somewhere in the system that is keeping cheap rapid tests out of the market. https://t.co/iduATl9nQx
— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) December 7, 2021
“Do better,” Jen:
.@PressSec: This answer was terrible, flippant, wrong. Rapid tests are hard to get, expensive & could be a key intervention in fighting #COVID19. Other countries have figured out better ways to get these tools into the hands of their citizens. Do better. @WHCOS @JeffreyZients https://t.co/Bmy7wxIs9e
— Gregg Gonsalves (@gregggonsalves) December 6, 2021
And it’s not clear she even knows this is exactly what the NIH is already looking at doing:
Um, yes? The NIH is piloting programs that do exactly this. https://t.co/K0lmC6zSsT
— Ryan Grim (@ryangrim) December 6, 2021
The FDA is also to blame here, too:
Terrible answer from Psaki. Though, the FDA has been terrible on this too. https://t.co/IZIwTXUY0e
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) December 6, 2021
But, again, Psaki *praised* the FDA in this dopey answer:
This response is both insanely arrogant, and stupid. And then Psaki proudly bleats about how the U.S. relies on the FDA, when it's the FDA THAT BLOCKED THE PRODUCTION OF MORE TESTS. https://t.co/5AUsnC8Epq
— Matt Stoller (@matthewstoller) December 6, 2021
We expect there will be come attempt at cleanup today.
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