A day after Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced “a commitment to transparency” regarding White House COVID-19 disclosures, she told reporters that the White House will not be releasing the number of “breakthrough cases” that occur on its campus.
The term “breakthrough cases” refers to fully vaccinated individuals who have come down with the coronavirus. Transparency advocates argue that the American people can be given that information without invading the privacy of COVID-stricken White House employees.
On Wednesday, after admitting that there had been multiple COVID cases at the White House that had not been previously revealed, Psaki said that the White House would only announce positive tests among officials if they had come into contact with Joe Biden, Kamala Harris or their spouses.
The Biden Administration claims that 97 percent of COVID cases in the United States are among the unvaccinated.
“Because of our commitment to transparency, what we’re going to be providing, moving forward, are updates on any White House official who tests positive for COVID-19 that the White House medical unit deemed as having had close contact with the president, vice president, first lady, or second gentleman,” said Psaki.
In response to a reporter who asked Thursday if the White House intends to release the total number of cases, Psaki said: “What I announced yesterday, or conveyed yesterday, was what our policy would be moving forward, but no, I don’t think you can expect that we will be providing numbers in breakthrough cases—no,” she told reporters.
“Really? That’s not transparency to give us a number—not the names—but a number of these cases? You must have that information,” a reporter said.
Pointing out that there are 2,000 employees at the White House, she added, “statistically speaking, there will be people who are vaccinated individuals who get COVID on the campus.”
Psaki went on to argue that the country is in a “very different place” than it was in months ago, and that “the vast, vast, vast majority of individuals who are fully vaccinated who get COVID will be asymptomatic, or have mild cases.”
She also told reporters that concealing the actual number of COVID cases in the White House from the public will be “the policy going forward,” and is “in the public interest.”
In 2020, it should be remembered, the media quickly and enthusiastically blasted out stories regarding every case of COVID-19 that occurred in the Trump White House.