‘I would say there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t leave this podium and wish I would have said something with greater context… ‘
Jen Psaki was forced to eat her own words, which is no minor feat for the White House press secretary.
Just two weeks after Psaki dismissed the idea, President Joe Biden said this week that the federal government will deliver 500 million COVID-19 rapid testing to those who want them.
“Should we just send one to every American?” Psaki scoffed when previously asked whether sending tests to Americans was something the White House had considered. “Then what — then what happens if you — if every American has one test? How much does that cost, and then what happens after that?”
She walked back that remark, after Biden’s announcement.
“I would say there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t leave this podium and wish I would have said something with greater context or more precision or additional information,” Psaki said when asked about her old comments.
“And that day, there was a lot of good questioning on testing,” she rambled, “and during that briefing, I conveyed a lot of information about our expansion of testing, about the 15 million tests that we were making available, about the 20,000 free testing sites.
“Should I have included that additional context again and that answer? Yes,” she admitted. “Going back, I wish I would have done that.”
The Biden administration has been chastised for not making at-home COVID-19 tests more widely available, according to critics. Only 12 at-home tests have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), while more than 3,000 emergency use permit applications for various types of at-home testing are still pending.