President Joe Biden made what appeared to be a tongue-in-cheek remark towards a reporter Monday. He called a reporter a “pain in the neck” after she asked a question about the Department of Veterans Affairs vaccine mandate.
The incident occurred during a meeting in the oval office between Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi to discuss the future role of U.S. forces in Iraq and the continued fight against ISIS. As Biden took questions from the press, NBC reporter Kelly O’Donnell attempted to ask a question about the new vaccine mandate put in place by the Department of Veterans Affairs. (RELATED: Biden, DHS Launch Effort To Bring Back Deported Veterans)
“You are such a pain in the neck but I’m going to answer your question because I’ve known you so long. It has nothing to do with Iraq,” Biden said in response to the question.
O’Donnell responded by saying that she took the president’s statement as a compliment.
“The president called me a “pain in the neck” (with a smile) as I pressed him on a NEW mandate for doctors at the Department of Veteran Affairs hospitals to get the COVID vaccine. He did not respond when I pressed if there would be further federal required vaccines,” the reporter said in a tweet.
NEW:The president called me a “pain in the neck” (with a smile) as I pressed him on a NEW mandate for doctors at @DeptVetAffairs hospitals to get the COVID vaccine. He did not respond when I pressed if there would be further federal required vaccines. pic.twitter.com/PAnOv7aXPK
— Kelly O’Donnell (@KellyO) July 26, 2021
The question comes after the Department of Veterans Affairs became the first federal agency to announce that COVID-19 vaccinations would be mandatory for some employees. (RELATED: Poll: Majority Of Americans Say ‘Others’ Besides Biden Are Directing Policy Agenda In White House)