Things Get Testy As Psaki Pressed For Answers On School Openings


Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
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White House press secretary Jen Psaki disputed the framing of a question on schools reopening during Friday’s White House press briefing.

Psaki told the New York Post’s Steven Nelson that she didn’t accept the premise of his question, which suggested that teachers did not want to return to their classrooms. (RELATED: Jen Psaki Dodges A Question About Whether The Biden Administration Would Stand Up To Teachers Unions)


Nelson posed the question as a “yes or no” scenario — and Psaki told him to go ahead, although she noted that she “never liked those questions.”

“Will President Biden use the power of the bully pulpit to help cajole teachers who are unwilling to go to school to go back?” Nelson asked.

“One, I reject the premise of the question,” Psaki replied, saying that she had teachers in her own family who were absolutely looking forward to returning to their classrooms.

Psaki went on to say that President Joe Biden favored schools reopening, but only if they could do so in a way that would allow them to stay open safely.

“We’re going to rely on CDC guidance which, again, is not officially out yet to determine the best way to do it. But there are several mitigating factors that we’ve seen in data to date that will help make it safe,” Psaki continued, saying that securing additional funding was an important part of that.

“It sounds like a yes with an asterisk,” Nelson pushed back.

“If you are the spokesperson for the White House, you can certainly say that, but you are not,” Psaki replied.