White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Friday defended and maintained secrecy around the number of aides to President Biden who have tested positive for COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated.
“Why do you need to have that information?” Psaki dismissively told a reporter at her daily press briefing.
The reporter told Psaki that the information would allow for “transparency” — noting that Psaki has pronounced the administration the “most transparent” in history — and would let the public “better understand how breakthrough cases work at the White House.”
Psaki this week acknowledged that there had been “breakthrough” cases among vaccinated staffers while confirming that a White House staffer tested positive for COVID-19 after meeting with Texas Democrats who fled their state to prevent a vote on election reform bill.
At least six of the Texans tested positive after flying unmasked to DC aboard a privately chartered jet. An aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also tested positive after meeting with the delegation.
Psaki said there’s little reason to disclose information about in-house infections because cases among vaccinated people are generally less severe.
“We’re in a very different place than we were six to seven months ago as it relates to the virus. And as many medical experts have said inside and outside of the government, those who are vaccinated are protected from serious illness. Most are asymptomatic,” Psaki said Friday at the briefing.
She argued that the government is broadly keeping tabs on breakthrough cases to better understand the scientific significance.
“The CDC is actively tracking breakthrough cases. There are tens of thousands of people across the country… who are in what they call cohort studies which the CDC is actively monitoring,” Psaki said.