As if Vice President Kamala Harris’ trip to the Northern Triangle last week wasn’t disastrous enough, President Biden’s overseas trip this week for the G7, NATO summit, and then the much-anticipated “Biden-Putin summit” has been 50 shades of cringe from both a public relations standpoint and, more importantly, a leadership standpoint.
While there have been predictable awkward moments galore, with Biden’s handlers doing their thing here and there, not to mention the deplorable treatment of the press by Russian henchmen at one point while Biden sat back and did nothing, even more troubling has been the answers to some of the questions he’s been asked.
After Russian President Vladimir Putin gave nearly an hour press conference, Biden stepped up to a different podium to give his own, which was much shorter and which reportedly included him reading off a teleprompter at times.
Biden admitted he had a pre-selected list of reporters to call on, but just when it appeared he was wrapping up the short press conference, Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy – no stranger to being left off the “approved” list for Biden to call on – took the opportunity to raise his voice above everyone else’s and get in a couple of questions just as Biden was preparing to walk off the stage, jacket and notebook in hand.
Doocy’s questions were China-related, and clearly made Biden uncomfortable, as you’ll soon see from his answers. Here’s how the exchange went down:
Doocy: “In the spirit, Mr. President, of you saying that there’s no substitute for basically dialogue, and also with what you said at NATO that the biggest problems right now are Russia and China. You’ve spoken many times about how you have spent perhaps more time with President Xi than any other world leader. So, is there going to become a time where you might call him, old friend to old friend, and ask him to open up China to the World Health Organization investigators who are trying to get to the bottom of COVID-19?”
Biden: “Let’s get something straight. We know each other well, we’re not old friends. It’s just pure business.”
Doocy: “So I guess my question would be, you’ve said that you were going to press China, you signed on to the G7 communiqué that said the G7 were calling on China to open up to let the investigators in. But China basically says they don’t want to be interfered with anymore, so what happens now?”
Biden: “The impact, the world’s attitude toward China as it develops. China’s trying very hard to project itself as a responsible and very, very forthcoming nation. They are finding it hard to talk about how they’re taking and helping the world in terms of COVID-19, and vaccines, they’re trying very hard.
Look, certain things you don’t have to explain to the people of the world. They see the results. Is China really actually trying to get to the bottom of this? One thing we did discuss, what we should be doing and what I’m going to make an effort to do, is rally the world to work on what is going to be the physical mechanism available to detect early on the next pandemic and have a mechanism by which we can respond to it and respond to it early. It’s gonna happen. It’s gonna happen and we need to do that. Thank you.”
Watch (starts at around the :17 mark):
Biden in response to Peter Doocy's question about the origins of Covid: "What we should be doing … is rallying to world to work on what is going to be the physical mechanism available to detect early on the next pandemic & have a mechanism by which we can respond to it." pic.twitter.com/awFZcdzPNa
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 16, 2021
I found Biden’s answer very concerning. Before that so-called “mechanism” he talks about is created, isn’t it imperative, as Doocy hinted at, to pressure China to open up the labs to let in investigators not just from the WHO (who can’t be trusted) but also the United States so they can look at the research, etc and draw conclusions of their own about the origins of the virus? I would think that would be the first priority and then after that’s determined, everything else would fall into place.
The fact that six months into his presidency no one from the administration is willing to come out and say that is deeply alarming. Biden’s “China’s actions will speak for themselves” answer does not cut it. We already know that, but we also need the hard data to come to firm conclusions about how the virus started because knowing that is the key to preventing another deadly outbreak.
Was it a lab leak? Did it come from a bat? Those are questions we can’t get answers to unless we do the digging for ourselves because China’s made clear they have no intentions of handing us any information on a silver platter.
The Biden administration’s pandering, apologist tone on China to date has been pathetic, embarrassing. Trump warned last year that it would be this way under Biden, and unfortunately it’s yet one more thing he predicted that has come to pass.
Sadly, it doesn’t look like it’s going to get any better.