Chaotic scenes in Fauci’s final White House presser as screaming reporter covers questions

A chaotic scene erupted during Dr Anthony Fauci’s final press conference on Tuesday when a reporter began yelling at his colleagues and demanding that White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre respond to a question about the origins of Covid-19.

Dr. Fauci, the outgoing director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had just finished discussing the status of the Covid-19 pandemic and stepped aside to await questions when a number of reporters started shouting their questions.

This is not uncommon for press conferences, but Ms Jean-Pierre asked them to stop and said she would call individual reporters to ask their questions, warning them that by shouting questions they would do wasting time on their colleague and Dr. Fauci.

During the shouting, a journalist – believed to be Diana Glebova from the far right daily call – can be heard asking a question about the origins of the virus, but she has not been called.

After Ms. Jean-Pierre stopped shouting, another reporter – Simon Ateba, chief White House correspondent for Today News Africastarted arguing with Ms. Jean-Pierre for not calling on Glebova.

“You should allow him to ask his question,” Ateba says in the clip. “She asks a valid question to Dr Fauci about the origin of Covid-19 -“

Mrs. Jean-Pierre interrupts him by saying “it’s not your turn”.

“You call the same people, you called a press briefing, you have to call people on the other side of the room,” he said, accusing Ms Jean-Pierre of playing the favorite of the press. “[Glebova] has a valid question, she asks about the origin of Covid-19, and Dr. Fauci is the best person to answer that question.

Ms Jean-Pierre insisted that she “hears the question” but that “we are not doing this as you wish”.

She then calls on another reporter, who asks about vaccination rates.

This is not the first time that Ms. Jean-Pierre has argued with journalists who shout questions at their colleagues. At least twice, she berated Angolan TV presenter Hariana Veras for asking questions when other journalists – who were given the floor – were asking questions.

She accused Ms. Jean-Pierre of ignoring African reporters.

“We asked questions, Karine, every time. And even when you ask Simon questions, it’s because he forced it,’ Ms Veras said, according to Mediated. “We don’t need to force questions. We also deserve to have a question. Do you have anything against African reporters?

The “Simon” she was referring to was Ateba, who was a central player in Tuesday’s feud.

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