White House press secretary Jen Psaki was forced to explain some basics about vaccines on Monday after Fox News reporter Peter Doocy tried to corner her with a question about breakthrough COVID-19 infections.
“I understand that the science says that vaccines prevent death,” Doocy said from the briefing room. “But I’m triple-vaxxed, still got COVID. You’re triple-vaxxed, still got COVID. Why is the president still referring to this as a pandemic of the unvaccinated?”
Psaki noted that she had experienced only minor symptoms when she tested positive for COVID-19 in October.
“There’s a huge difference between that and being unvaccinated,” she said. “You are 17 times more likely to go to the hospital if you’re not vaccinated, 20 times more likely to die. And those are significant, serious statistics. So, yes, the impact for people who are unvaccinated is far more dire than for those who are vaccinated.”
Hospitalizations in the U.S. have been driven largely by unvaccinated COVID-19 patients in the past six months, placing preventable strain on health systems.
Doocy’s father, Steve Doocy, who has been vocally supportive of vaccines, revealed on Fox News last week that he and his family members had tested positive for COVID-19 over the holidays. He encouraged people to get vaccinated and boosted, prompting pushback from his colleagues.
″[My doctor] said he thinks of the vaccine as like wearing a Kevlar vest,” Steve Doocy said. “It is not going to ... stop a bullet [from hitting you], but it won’t let the bullet kill you.”
“And that’s why people, that’s why I trust the doctors. I trust the science. You know, it’s the only game we’ve got right now is to get vaccinated and boosted,” he added.