Jen Psaki shuts down reporter demanding China pay “reparations” for COVID-19

Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a Press Briefing on Thursday, June 3, 2021, in the James S. Brady White House Press Briefing Room.
Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a Press Briefing on Thursday, June 3, 2021, in the James S. Brady White House Press Briefing Room.Photo: Official White House Photo by Cameron Smith

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki shot down a conservative journalist trying to get President Joe Biden to demand “reparations” from China for COVID-19.

Citing how Donald Trump called for “China to pay the United States more than $10 trillion in reparations as a result of letting the coronavirus escape Wuhan and infect other countries,” the New York Post reporter noted that “President Biden hasn’t called for reparations from China.”

Related: Jen Psaki shuts down Fox News’ transphobic question with “Trans rights are human rights”

“Does he think that China should pay us financially for how it was allowed to spread?” the reporter asked nervously.

“Our policy hasn’t changed,” Psaki responded curtly.

The reporter tried to ask if Biden is “open to…” and Psaki cut him off: “Did you have another question?”

The New York Post has been pushing reparations for several months, with a column published in June saying that the “natural-origin theory” of COVID-19 is “tenuous at best,” but citing no evidence that Chinese researchers even had the capability of making designer viruses to infect other countries or the desire to shut down stores in their biggest trading partners.

“Biden should be marshaling allies to act in unison, squeezing China to get answers — and reparations,” the Post column states.

While Trump did not demand China pay reparations while he was in office, in June he said that the country should pay $10 trillion to the U.S. in reparations.

“China must pay,” he said. “They must pay.”

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has said that there is “wide scientific consensus” that COVID-19 was not “manmade or genetically modified.”

Back in the press conference, the Post journalist also tried to bring up sexual assault allegations from last year made against Biden by Tara Reade, whose story changed over time and who misrepresented herself and her past, like saying that she held a degree from Antioch University, which she does not.

Biden called on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to resign yesterday after an independent investigation in the state found that he likely sexually harassed several women in violation of the law, so the Post reporter wanted to know if Biden wants “an independent investigation into the allegations as there was into Governor Cuomo?”

Psaki said that Biden supports women telling their stories and being respected and that he denied the allegation last year.

“I understand that you’re eager to come back to it, but I don’t have anything further,” she said before moving on to another reporter.

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