White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre pushed back on Wednesday after Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy suggested President Joe Biden was "afraid of China."
At a White House briefing, Doocy wanted to know why Biden had not punished China for Covid-19.
"Why is President Biden afraid of China?" he asked.
Jean-Pierre reminded the reporter that Biden had just returned from a trip to a war zone in Ukraine.
"There's nothing that this president fears," she said.
"China flew a spy craft over the U.S.; the president didn't really do anything to China," Doocy retorted. "And according to the FBI director, China may have created something that's killed more than 1.1 million people in this country. And President Biden is not punishing them."
Taking Doocy's question in parts, Jean-Pierre explained that China's spy balloon was shot down over water for safety reasons. And she pointed out that Biden has called for more data about the origins of Covid-19.
Doocy suggested Biden was hypocritical because his campaign rhetoric mentioned "empty chairs" from Covid-19 deaths.
"It was because of this president that took action, by the way, the last administration did not — they did not have a comprehensive plan," Jean-Pierre replied.
Doocy tried to interrupt, but the press secretary refused.
"No, no, no," she said. "First of all, you can't tell me how to answer the question. I'm going to answer it for you. Right? So, just give me a second."
"Because he took those actions, he actually helped to save lives," Jean-Pierre explained. "Because he took action to make sure that people got shots in arms and put a comprehensive plan in front of the American people, and put in the work, we actually were able to get to a place where Covid is not gone, but we're in a different place in the pandemic. And that's because of the president."
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