Peter Doocy, a White House correspondent for Fox during the Biden administration so far, has consistently proven himself to be evidently interested in what is antagonism of whoever is occupying the role of briefer, which now is White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
On Wednesday, Doocy characterized President Joe Biden in questions to Jean-Pierre as “afraid of China,” which is just an inaccurate description. Some of his later remarks showed he was trying to base this idea on Biden not moving more aggressively against China over the idea that COVID-19 originated in a lab leak — but that’s not proven, and there are competing theories as investigations continue. Should Biden really change the country’s foreign policy posture towards a major global competitor on what amounts to a hunch? “The President is not afraid of China,” Jean-Pierre replied to Doocy, her frustration palpable even in the transcript.
“Did you see the President last week, when we went to Ukraine, went to Kyiv?” Jean-Pierre added in response. “This is not a President that’s afraid of anything. It was a historic trip that many of you said was brave. So, clearly, this is a President that’s not afraid to go to a warzone. He’s not afraid to go there when there’s no military presence on the ground. So, there’s nothing that this President fears.”
Doocy then got to his contentions about the possibilities that Chinese authorities are responsible in some more direct way for the spread of COVID-19 and the recent situation involving a Chinese surveillance balloon that went over the U.S. As he repeatedly interrupted Jean-Pierre, she interjected. “Peter, first of all, you can’t tell me how to answer the question,” she said. “I’m going to answer it for you. Right? So just give me a second.” That quieted him, and Jean-Pierre explained the seriousness with which Biden and his team have approached the question of the origin of the virus that drove the pandemic that shook the world.
“It was because of this President, very early on — the first several months of his administration — he went to the intelligence community and said, ‘We need to figure out how to get to the bottom of this. We need to figure out how this all occurred,'” Jean-Pierre added Wednesday. “Because, who knows, we have to try and prevent any future pandemics. So that is the work that this President did. And it included, clearly, the Department of Energy that has National Labs. And so, now they’re continuing to double down and try to get to the bottom of this. Our relationship with China has not changed. It is very different — I’m going to be very clear — very different than how we have seen it in the last administration.”
With Trump, who’s explicitly praised how Chinese officials handled COVID-19 besides also trying to use the virus as fuel for racist vitriol, the federal stance was much more unpredictable. He even fumbled basic facts relevant to the country’s foreign policy, having characterized revenue from tariffs as coming from China when it actually came generally from the U.S. interests doing the importing.
Fox News’ Peter Doocy: “Why is President Biden afraid of China?”
White House Press Sec. Karine Jean-Pierre: “The president is not afraid of China. Did you see the president last week when we went to Ukraine? … There’s nothing that this president fears.” pic.twitter.com/lEejG2wjM5
— The Recount (@therecount) March 1, 2023