White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki blamed vaccinated Americans’ frustrations with unvaccinated people in response to a reporter’s question about Joe Biden’s falling poll numbers, adding that the administration is working to get more people vaccinated. In response to a follow-up question about whether she meant that the push for vaccines iss part of an effort to get Biden’s poll numbers up, Psaki said, “yeah.”
A recent Axios-Ipsos poll shows public approval of Biden’s handling of the pandemic has crashed to the mid- forties from a high in the upper fifties.
Excerpt: “45% of those surveyed say they trust Biden a great deal or a fair amount to provide them with accurate information about the virus and pandemic, while 53% said they have little or no trust in him. Compare that with the peak of trust in Biden on COVID — 58% to 42% — in our Jan. 22–25 survey, around his inauguration when he was in a honeymoon phase. The slide can be seen across the political spectrum, with a net drop of 11 percentage points among Democrats, 17 points with independents and 10 points with Republicans. In the latest survey, 81% of Democrats, 42% of independents and 11% of Republicans say they trust Biden on COVID.”
First question and answer:
Reporter: “Uh, the President’s poll numbers on COVID have, have dropped. Uh, is the White House concerned about that? How does it plan to address that issue? Specifically because how people trust his opinion on this is a big question on people following the health guidelines.”
Psaki: “Well, we think it’s more a reflection of people being sick and tired of COVID. Um and, um, tired, some of that is a reflection of people who are vaccinated being frustrated that there is still a percentage of the population who are not vaccinated and that’s impacting their daily lives. Uh, there was an assumption, uh, several months ago before the rise of Delta that we would be over and through it and back to normal at this point in time–and we’re not. And that’s frustrating, and that’s impacting people. Ultimately as the President has said many times, ‘the buck stops with him.’ Uh, the way to solve it is to get, continue to get more people vaccinated, uh, get uh, people’s lives returning, uh, back to normal and that’s what we’re working on everyday.”
Psaki replies that the bad poll numbers are actually “a reflection of people being sick and tired of Covid.” pic.twitter.com/iGRiPFMEmX
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Follow up Q & A:
Second reporter: “Jen, I have something else, but a quick point of clarification in response to what you said to Chris when he asked you about the President’s poll numbers on COVID. You said that the way to solve it is to continue to get people vaccinated, get people’s lives back to normal, that’s what we’re working on everyday. Did you mean by that that’s part of the way to bring the President’s poll numbers up on that issue?”
Psaki: “Yeah. I mean what we’re talking about here is people’s frustration around COVID. And that they’re still living through difficult times. Life is not, uh, you know they’re still worried about their kids going to school, they’re worried about uh, vaccine requirements in workplaces and wanting to know that they’re safe. They’re worried about their grandparents. That’s frustrating. That’s hard. That’s emotionally exhausting. We recognize that. The best thing we can do is to continue to plow ahead, work to get more people vaccinated, uh, more companies implementing mandates, uh, and do more to get the pandemic under control.”
Transcribed by TGP.
Video queued to second question and answer:
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