The White House daily press briefing spiraled out of control on Tuesday when a reporter dared ask Dr. Anthony Fauci whether he has investigated the origins of COVID-19.
As Fauci and Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House COVID response coordinator, were answering questions at the press briefing, Daily Caller White House correspondent Diana Glebova attempted to ask Fauci what he has done to investigate the origins of the COVID pandemic.
Glebova shouted her question when Fauci finished answering a previous question, a routine practice when in a gaggle of reporters. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre responded by scolding Glebova.
“We have a process here. I’m not calling out on people who yell. You’re being you’re being disrespectful to your colleagues, and you’re being disrespectful to our guest,” Jean-Pierre said. “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.”
“I’m done!” she exclaimed. “I’m not getting to a back-and-forth with you.”
That is when Today Africa News correspondent Simon Ateba intervened on behalf of his colleague, blurting out that Glebova had asked a “good question.”
“You need to call [on] people across the room! She has a valid question. She’s asked about the origin of COVID,” Ateba said.
“I hear the question … but we’re not doing this the way you want it. … I’m done. Simon, I’m done with you right now,” Jean-Pierre responded.
Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre
Dr. Fauci is stepping down from his job as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden next month. He gave his final government briefing on Tuesday.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), however, has vowed that he will not stop investigating Fauci and the government’s role in the COVID-19 pandemic — and whether the U.S. government engaged in gain-of-function research — after Fauci’s government retirement.
Paul and other Republicans want to know whether NIAID grant funding of EcoHealth Alliance is connected to coronavirus research at the infamous Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Glebova responded to the incident by suggesting Jean-Pierre refused to call on her because of the nature of her question.
“I attempted to ask Fauci several times on what he personally did to demand answers into the origins of COVID-19. I always come with honest answers that Americans want to know,” Glebova tweeted. “That’s why the White House refuses to call on me, and then calls ME ‘disrespectful.'”