'The full clip is important': Jen Psaki fires back after a blatantly misleading video of Biden goes viral
Jen Psaki (Screen Shot)

When President Joe Biden discussed the COVID-19 pandemic with Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson this week, the conservative Republican expressed concerns about the possibility of “federal solutions” getting “in the way of state solutions” — and Biden assured Hutchinson that they wouldn’t. Some far-right Republicans have been circulating a misleading, badly edited clip of that conversation, and White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki is calling them out for it.

Biden told Hutchinson, “Look, there is no federal solution; this gets solved at the state level. I’m looking at (New Hampshire) Gov. Sununu on the board here. He talks about that a lot. And that ultimately gets down to where the rubber meets the road.”

The edited clip of that conversation is designed to make it sound like Biden was saying that the federal government, under his leadership, has no game plan for COVID-19 and is abandoning the states — which wasn’t what Biden was saying. Rather, Biden was saying that the federal government and the state governments both need to play a role in dealing with the pandemic, and Psaki explained that.

A misleading tweet from @GOP reads:

Providing context, Psaki tweeted the long version of Biden’s conversation with Hutchinson, noting that it’s important to see “the full clip”:

The Biden White House posted:

Data expert Josh Jordan was even more forceful in his defense of Biden, tweeting:

Hutchinson — again, a Republican governor — made it clear that there has been a substantial federal response that he has found very helpful.

" I want to thank all of the White House team for being such great support to the governors," he said. "And I want to thank, Mr. President — your address to the nation last week. Thank you for your comments designed to de-politicize our COVID response."

He continued:

As we face Omicron, the governors and your administration must be working together more closely than ever. I particularly appreciate your comments about increasing the supply chain on rapid COVID tests. This has become a real challenge for the governors.

And your task force, led by Jeff Zients, has been responsive and has kept us informed every step of the way. A good example is this last week: I asked for more monoclonal antibody treatments; we received them last week. Still, we have a limited supply, but the responsiveness is very much appreciated.

I would like to give you a glimpse of Arkansas today. First, hospitalizations are down by half from where they were this time last year, but our Omicron case count and the demand for testing has increased. In Arkansas, we have a test-to-stay school program that’s a pilot in 50 schools. We want to expand that, and right now we have sufficient tests to be able to do that.

But we also, as governors, are getting pressure to do more, and the need is great to do more in terms of the rapid tests and the availability of it. And so, one word of concern or encouragement for your team is that as the — as you look towards federal solutions that will help alleviate the challenge, make sure that we do not let federal solutions stand in the way of state solutions.

And the — the production of 500 million rapid tests that will be distributed by the federal government is great, but, obviously, that dries up the supply chain for the solutions that we might offer as governor