A chaotic scene broke out during Dr. Anthony Fauci’s recent press conference on Tuesday, when the reporter began shouting at his colleagues and demanding that White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre ask a question about the origins of Covid-19.
Dr. Fauci, outgoing director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had just finished discussing the state of the Covid-19 pandemic and stepped back to wait for questions as many journalists started shouting their questions.
It is not uncommon for press conferences, but Ms Jean-Pierre urged them to stop and said she would call individual reporters to ask questions, warning them that by shouting questions they would be wasting her colleague and Dr Fauci’s time.
During the screams, one reporter — probably Diana Glebova from Everyday interlocutor she can be heard asking about the origin of the virus, but she hasn’t been summoned.
After Mrs. Jean-Pierre silenced the screams, another reporter – Simon Ateba, the White House’s chief security correspondent Today News Africahe began to argue with Mrs. Jean-Pierre that she had not visited Glebova.
“You should let her ask the question,” Ateba says in the clip. “She asks Dr. Fauci an important question about the origin of Covid-19…”
Mrs. Jean-Pierre interrupts him by saying “not your turn”.
“You’re calling the same people, you’ve called the press conference, you’ve got to call the people across the room,” he said, accusing Mrs Jean-Pierre of playing the role of frontrunner in the press corps. “[Glebova] has an important question, he asks about the origin of Covid-19, and Dr. Fauci is the best person to answer that question.”
Mrs. Jean-Pierre insisted she “hears the question” but “we don’t do it the way you want it”.
He then calls another reporter who asks about vaccination rates.
This is not the first time Ms Jean-Pierre has gotten into a fight with reporters who are shouting questions over their colleagues. She scolded at least twice the Angolan TV presenter Hariana Veras for asking questions while other reporters – who were given the floor – asked questions.
She accused Mrs. Jean-Pierre of ignoring African reporters.
“We asked for questions every time, Karine. And even if you ask Simon questions, it’s because he made him do it,” Ms Veras said media. “We don’t have to force ourselves to ask questions. We also deserve a question. Do you have something against African reporters?
The “Simon” she referred to was Ateba, who was the lead actor in Tuesday’s feud.