Outgoing White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has said that she had hit her “limit” in terms of questions about Covid tests when she previously asked, “should we just send one to every American?” in response to a reporter’s question.
In December of last year, Ms Psaki was repeatedly asked about the availability of Covid tests in the US, leading to her eventually responding in a tone some considered sarcastic or mocking.
Almost two weeks later, the government bought 500 million tests to send to Americans.
On Thursday, Ms Psaki took part in an event hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, answering questions about her time as President Joe Biden’s first press secretary. Ms Psaki will leave the job on Friday and White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will take over.
“When I was asked about testing, and the truth is if you look back at the transcript, which I realize no one will, I had said about 9,000 words about what we had done for testing – expanding of markets, making eight tests available, funding and doing it,” Ms Psaki said on Thursday.
“And I think it was by about the ninth or 10th version of the question that I think I just hit my limit. And you know, we’re all human, but it is your job to control that urge and to always provide information, context, all the details, even if people in the room sometimes look like their eyes may roll back in their heads because they’re kind of bored of the same question,” she added.
“That was a good lesson for me. And a good reminder. Now I will say, just to go back to the context, I was asked, why wouldn’t we send tests to every American? We have still not done that. And if we had done that, I would still say it would have been a waste of taxpayer money and people wouldn’t have used them. They would have thrown them out. But I did not provide the context and the tone was not right in that moment. And I wish I could go back and do that,” Ms Psaki said.
It’s been previously reported that Ms Psaki is set to join MSNBC after her departure from the White House.