The briefing room descended into chaos as the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases answered inquiries from reporters. As Daily Caller White House Correspondent Diana Glebova began to ask about the origins of COVID, Jean-Pierre resumed the podium and said that she would not call on “people who yell,” adding that she had no interest in “getting into a back-and-forth” with Glebova after she noted that Jean-Pierre “calls on the same people all the time.”
Jean-Pierre, who had asked another journalist to pause his question while Glebova was reprimanded, provided no opportunity to let Glebova request comment from Fauci. Other journalists, including Steven Nelson of The New York Post and Simon Ateba of Today News Africa, were heard asking Jean-Pierre to allow Glebova to ask her “valid” question and “call on people across the room,” causing Jean-Pierre to become exasperated.
“It is not your turn,” a visibly annoyed Jean-Pierre said, resuming the podium for a second time. “I hear the question … but we’re not doing this the way you want it. This is disrespectful … I’m done with you, Simon.”
Daily Caller’s @DianaGlebova tries to ask Dr. Fauci about what he did to investigate the origins of covid and Jean-Pierre shuts her down.
Another reporter yells at her for not letting Diana ask the question. pic.twitter.com/RieiEBwl2p
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) November 22, 2022
Glebova thanked her colleagues on social media for pushing back against Jean-Pierre and noted that “there’s finally some pushback to the administration’s narrative.” A report from The Daily Caller said that Glebova had tried to ask her question “several times.”
Fauci, a five-decade employee of the federal government who also serves as chief medical advisor for President Joe Biden, has faced criticism for his agency’s alleged use of gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has repeatedly questioned Fauci for his handling of the disease in fiery exchanges before the Senate Health Committee. During one hearing, Fauci retorted that the lawmaker’s alleged distortion of the facts “kindles the crazies out there,” producing threats to his life “because people are lying about me.”
The 81-year-old immunologist added roughly $5 million to his household net worth between 2019 and 2021, according to financial disclosures obtained by OpenTheBooks. As the federal government’s highest-paid employee, he earns $480,000 per year, although OpenTheBooks estimates that his true compensation is $694,998 after considering various perks and benefits.
Fauci announced over the summer that he would retire from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, an agency he has led since the tenure of President Ronald Reagan. A statement from the White House praised Fauci as a “dedicated public servant, and a steady hand with wisdom and insight honed over decades at the forefront of some of our most dangerous and challenging public health crises.”
Fauci, however, had been an ardent supporter of government lockdowns as well as pressure campaigns to vaccinate members of the public. Among other costs from lockdown policies, nearly one-third of businesses in places such as New York and New Jersey closed their doors by the end of 2020, according to data collected by Harvard University. The federal government spent nearly $6 trillion on stimulus packages as the economy crashed, leading to rapid increases in deficit spending and the national debt.
School lockdowns created the worst educational outcomes in decades. The most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress showed average reading scores for nine-year-olds plummeting by five points and average mathematics scores dropping seven points. The learning losses may cost the economy between $128 billion and $188 billion per year, according to an estimate from consulting firm McKinsey & Company.