But she did get one today, and her answer not only was in no way acceptable, but it also further proved a point Republicans have been making about how hearings need to be scheduled and conducted ASAP with Dr. Fauci prominently featured front and center in them to face questions.
During today's press briefing, Psaki was asked about an April 2020 email exchange between Fauci – who is the NIAID director as well as President Biden's chief medical adviser, and Dr. Francis Collins – who is the director of the NIH and Fauci's boss. Though the contents of the emails were blacked out, the subject of the email read “conspiracy gains momentum” and contained a link to a story written by Mediaite about a Sean Hannity segment that discussed theories about the coronavirus' origin. Here's what the emails looked like:
Not much info there, but it was enough for the reporter to ask Psaki if it was the White House's position that the theory that the coronavirus was “bioengineered” in a Wuhan lab “as a weapon” was not a valid theory or if it was an “open question.”
Psaki sidestepped the specifics of the question and instead gave a canned answer about how the White House believed Fauci was an “undeniable asset” and about how it was “not that advantageous for me to re-litigate the substance of emails from 17 months ago”:
“Well, I think we've spoken to this pretty extensively from here. Let me just say on Dr. Fauci and his emails, he's also spoken to this many, many times over the last – over the course of the last few days and we'll let him speak for himself. And he's been an undeniable asset in our country's pandemic response. But it's obviously not that advantageous for me to re-litigate the substance of emails from 17 months ago.
We've launched, based on the President's direction, an entire internal review process to use all of the resources across government to get to the bottom of the origins, and that's a 100-day process and we'll look forward to providing – or 90 days, sorry, when it's concluded.”
Sorry, but an “internal review” from this administration is not going to cut it. Not only that, but the emails haven't even been litigated yet, so how can she be talking about the lack of need to “relitigate”?
We need – on the record and in front of Congressional committees that obviously would include Republicans – Fauci's detailed explanations behind what he said, and just how much U.S. funding for gain-of-function research, which he is on record as supporting, played a role in his downplaying of the Wuhan lab leak theory.
Democrats, of course, and their allies in the pro-Fauci mainstream media will characterize such hearings as nothing more than a “partisan witch hunt” and then pivot to their “Orange Man Bad” tactics, but the bottom line here is that Fauci needs to answer for the funding, what he's said, why the lab leak theory was suppressed, and whether that funding may have ultimately led to the lab leak of a deadly virus that has cost millions of lives worldwide including nearly 600,000 here in the U.S.