Psaki Shuts Down Newsmax Reporter in Mid-Question: ‘I Think You’ve Had Plenty Of Time Today’
Q Excellent. And then on the coronavirus: It’s a matter of public record that Dr. Fauci and the NIH funded gain-of-function experimentation, research at the Wuhan Lab of Virology. And given the questions about that lab, why would Dr. Fauci and the U.S. fund that kind of experiments, that kind of research at a Chinese lab?
MS. PSAKI: The — I’m sorry. I can’t hear you super well. What was the beginning part of your comment — of your thing — of your question?
Q I said that the NIH and Dr. Fauci had provided funding to the Wuhan Lab of Virology. That’s the lab in question when we talk about the lab-leak theory. And given that gain-of-function research is dicey, why would the U.S. fund that in China? Why would Dr. Fauci?
MS. PSAKI: I’m happy to send you to the NIH about more specifics of what program they funded and more details of that.
Q Now, I do have one more follow-up on that —
MS. PSAKI: Okay.
Q — because the President hasn’t really weighed in. Dr. Fauci is one of the voices who discredit the lab-leak theory, but now there is more officials in the Biden administration — like the Director of National Intelligence, the CIA Director, and now also the NIH Director — who say that this cannot be ruled out, and there is calls for more investigation into it.
Who does the President agree with — Dr. Fauci or the other officials? Does he think this — it was a lab leak?
MS. PSAKI: Well, the President has said, and I’ve said from here many times, that there needs to be a credible, independent investigation through the World Health Organization, and tha- — one that relies on data, relies on participation from China and other countries that may have information. That’s certainly something everybody has called for, and we look forward to that happening.
Q Why hasn’t the President spoken with President Xi about the origins of the coronavirus yet? He said, just a few weeks ago, he hadn’t yet.
MS. PSAKI: I think we have given a readout of his call. And also that the President believes there should be an independent investigation led by health experts, and one where their data is provided — that’s provided transparently to our medical and science experts here in the United States. And we look forward to reviewing that.
We’re going to have to go on. Go ahead. I’m sorry.
Q If that was a lab leak, will the President be committed to (inaudible) —
MS. PSAKI: I’m sorry, Emerald. I think you’ve had plenty of time today.
Q Just one more.
MS. PSAKI: Go ahead. Go ahead.