WH press sec left silenced when reporter corrects her for claiming migrants are not walking across border: ‘That’s exactly what’s happening!’
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was silenced on Monday when confronted over the Biden administration’s contradictory COVID-19 vaccine policies.
What is the background?
Tennis superstar Novak Djokovic announced last week that he would not compete in this year’s U.S. Open because he is not vaccinated for COVID-19.
Currently, the U.S. prohibits non-U.S. citizens from flying into the U.S. if they are not vaccinated for COVID.
“Non-U.S. citizen, non-U.S. immigrants: You must show proof of being fully vaccinated with the primary series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine before you board your flight to the United States. Only limited exceptions apply,” read guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What happened with KJP?
At the White House press briefing, Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy asked the obvious question: Why is Djokovic prohibited from briefly entering the U.S. to play in a tennis tournament, but unvaccinated migrants are allowed to enter the U.S. at the southern border?
“How come migrants are allowed to come into this country unvaccinated, but world-class tennis players are not?” he asked.
At first, Jean-Pierre deflected and referred Doocy to question the CDC, absolving the White House — which runs the executive branch, under which the CDC falls — of responsibility, but Doocy pressed harder.
“They’re two different things,” Jean-Pierre claimed.
“How is it two different things?” Doocy pressed. “Somebody unvaccinated comes over on a plane; you say that’s not okay. Somebody walks into Texas or Arizona unvaccinated; they’re allowed to stay. Why?”
08/29/22: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre
The press secretary proceeded to claim “that’s not how it works” and that migrants are not pouring into the U.S. through the southern border.
“It’s not like somebody walks over and — that’s not — that’s not how —” Jean-Pierre said before Doocy interjected.
“That’s exactly what’s happening!” Doocy fired back. “Thousands of people are walking in a day. Some of them turn themselves over. Some of them are caught; tens of thousands a week are not. That is what is happening.”
Doocy’s sharp response left Jean-Pierre in silence. When she finally responded, she dodged the premise of Doocy’s question altogether and instead praised President Joe Biden for the actions he has allegedly taken to address the border crisis.
When Doocy asked one final time about the CDC vaccine requirement for people who fly to the U.S., as opposed to entering on foot, Jean-Pierre steered the exchange toward Title 42 before turning to the next reporter.
For what it is worth, Title 42 does not mandate that migrants be vaccinated for COVID, but it permits the government to refuse migrants entry to stop the spread of disease.
Bill Melugin, a Fox News reporter who has spent considerable time reporting on the border crisis, confirmed that people do, in fact, freely walk across the border.
“Colleague @pdoocy is 100% correct. That is exactly what is happening at the border,” Melguin wrote on Twitter. “Not sure how many more videos we have to show, multiple times a day, to get this point across. And that doesn’t even account for the more than half a million gotaways who slipped thru since 10/1.”