On Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy that former President Donald Trump suggested people inject “versions of poison into their veins” to cure COVID-19.
Psaki made her comments during Wednesday’s press briefing.
Doocy asked Psaki if President Joe Biden’s behavior might have encouraged vaccine hesitancy when he said during the previous administration that he trusted science but not Trump, and added that “the American people can’t either.”
Psaki doubled down on Biden’s statement.
The White House press secretary said that Biden “still doesn’t trust Donald Trump, but he does trust scientists.”
Psaki credited the scientists and experts who worked under Trump’s “Operation Warp Speed” for the development of the vaccine.
Doocy repeated his question, asking once more if Biden telling people not to trust Trump when the former president was saying a vaccine was on the way might have created “any kind of vaccine hesitancy.”
Psaki replied, “Not that we’ve seen in the data.”
She then added, “I would note that at the time, just for context, the former president was also suggesting people inject versions of poison into their veins to cure COVID. So I think that’s a relevant point.”
Psaki was referencing comments made by Trump in April of 2020, in which he wondered aloud if UV light or ‘disinfectant’ could be remedies to COVID infections. His comments followed a presentation by then undersecretary for science and technology at the Department of Homeland Security, William Bryan, about the adverse effects of sun exposure and cleaning agents like bleach on COVID.
Trump’s comments have since been taken out of context by left-wing commentators and media outlets with many claiming that Trump told his supporters to “inject bleach.”
Even the Poynter Institute’s fact checking arm, Politifact, says “that Trump did not say people should inject themselves with bleach or alcohol to treat the coronavirus”.
Doocy, however, was not about to be deflected by Psaki’s incendiary comment.
He quickly countered with a reminder that Biden also said during his campaign that Americans should wait until the vaccine was fully authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which still has not happened.
The vaccine is currently authorized for distribution under an emergency use measure or EUA.
Psaki responded, “The FDA works on the timeline of science. At the same time, we’ve also seen tens of millions of people’s lives saved who have gotten the vaccine.”
“That data is clear across the country,” she finished.
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