Jen Psaki Does Clean-up on Biden Vaccine Messaging Flub, Exposes Bigger Problem in the Process

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

We reported last night on how President Biden made a wild claim during his CNN town hall about how “You’re not going to get COVID if you have these vaccinations.” For those who missed it, here’s the clip:

The statement is, of course, not true, and we can look to the “fugitive” Texas Democrats as Exhibit A of how people who are said to be fully vaccinated can still get the coronavirus including the Delta variant, which has reportedly made its way to the U.S. Congress and the White House.

During today’s White House press briefing, Biden press secretary Jen Psaki was asked about Biden’s comments from last night. As per the norm she ended up having to play “interpreter” for the POTUS, suggesting “the point he was trying to make last night” is that even if you do get the virus after becoming fully vaccinated that chances are you’ll be okay:

Reporter: “Last night, the President said you’re not going to get COVID if you have these vaccinations. Why did he say that when that is not what the science says?”

Psaki: “Well, what the science says is that 97% of hospitalizations are people who are unvaccinated. So, yes, there are cases of individuals who are vaccinated – to be absolutely clear – who have gotten COVID. It is a very small percentage and a small number of people. And those cases, [the] vast, vast, vast majority are asymptomatic and they have minor symptoms, which means that you are largely protected. That was the point he was trying to make last night.”

Watch:

In addition to the problems with Biden’s answer, the problem with Psaki’s answer is she leaves out the fact that according to the CDC, nearly 5,500 people have either been hospitalized or died from the virus even after getting the vaccine. The AP fact-checked the claim after Biden made a similar one to her’s last night during a post-town hall interview:

BIDEN, asked about vaccinated people who get infected: “It may be possible, I know of none where they’re hospitalized, in ICU and or have passed away so at a minimum I can say even if they did contract it, which I’m sorry they did, it’s such a tiny percentage and it’s not life threatening.” — remarks to reporters after the event.

THE FACTS: Once again, too far. That is evident from the CDC’s finding that 5,492 vaccinated people who tested positive for coronavirus were hospitalized or died as of July 12. That’s not “none.” But he is correct that it is a small percentage of the more than 159 million fully vaccinated Americans.

It’s astonishing that at this stage of the game, the Biden White House continues to be the worst purveyors of misinformation about the COVID vaccine and masks despite their accusations that it’s Republicans and people on Facebook who are misinforming people.

Though the percentage of people who catch the virus even after vaccination is small, people need to know that instead of being told it’s a surefire method for not catching it. There are people who could have heard his comments, then go get vaccinated and then two months from now catch it and think “I wouldn’t have gotten the vaccine if I knew this was going to happen,” and then spread that information to others who could be influenced not to take it.

The fact of the matter is that it was always the case that people ran the risk of still catching it even after vaccination. Pretty much everyone I know who has gotten the vaccine was told by the place administering it that it did not prevent you from catching it but that it would make it where if you did your symptoms would likely be mild and you’d be less likely to spread it to someone else.

The decision to get the vaccine is a personal choice. Some decide to and some don’t. In either case, people need to have accurate information in order to make informed decisions. The Biden White House has become their own worst enemies on this matter, and instead of defaulting to blaming Republicans or random Facebook users, they need to take a look in the mirror instead, because the misinformation continues to come straight from the top.

Flashback: Andy Slavitt Wrecks the Clown Car in Disastrous CNN Interview on Biden’s Vaccine Messaging