President Joe Biden snapped at NBC reporter Kelly O’Donnell during a briefing on Iraq, calling her a “pain in the neck” when she asked him about mandatory COVID vaccinations for Veterans Affairs frontline workers.
Biden was speaking with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi in the Oval Office concerning ISIS and other topics on Monday when O’Donnell cornered him on the subject. The president announced to the press the end of the U.S. combat mission in Iraq.
“You are such a pain in the neck, but I’m going to answer your question because we’ve known each other for so long,” the president remarked. “It has nothing to do with Iraq … I’ll answer your question. Yes, Veteran Affairs is going to, in fact, require that all doctors working in their facilities are going to have to be vaccinated.”
O’Donnell responded, “I take that as a compliment, Mr. President,” while Biden chuckled. Wearing a smile and not raising his voice, it was evident that Biden was irritated by the reporter as he put her in her place while tersely answering the question. The president did not answer her follow-up question concerning COVID-19 vaccine requirements for other federal employees.
(Video Credit: Fox News)
Biden’s snappish response to O’Donnell was more genteel than his previous handling of other reporters who have dared to ask him questions he is not comfortable with. He lashed out at CNN’s Kaitlan Collins in June for asking him about Russian President Vladimir Putin and informed her she was in the “wrong business.” He has also responded angrily when questioned on his son Hunter Biden.
O’Donnell was elected in July to be president of the White House Correspondents’ Association.
Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough announced on Monday that the agency was making COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for all VA healthcare personnel. This is the first federal agency to make that move. It will include physicians, dentists, nurses, and other frontline workers.
The VA claims it is taking this “necessary step” to keep the veterans it serves “safe.” The agency is giving 115,000 employees eight weeks to get fully vaccinated or they could be terminated.
“We’re mandating vaccines for Title 38 employees because it’s the best way to keep veterans safe, especially as the Delta variant spreads across the country,” McDonough declared.
“Whenever a veteran or a VA employee sets foot in a VA facility, they deserve to know that we have done everything in our power to protect them from COVID-19,” he noted. “With this mandate, we can once again make – and keep – that fundamental promise.”
This follows the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, and dozens of other medical groups who issued a statement calling for mandatory vaccinations for health workers due to the spread of the Delta variant and rising infections in states with low vaccination rates.
“We call for all healthcare and long-term care employers to require their employees to be vaccinated against covid-19,” the organizations wrote. “The health and safety of U.S. workers, families, communities and the nation depends on it.”
It should be noted that Biden announced in December of 2020, that he would not mandate COVID vaccinations. His announcement that physicians and staff at the VA are now required to receive inoculations is a giant contradiction to his previous statements.
Nearly 60 other leading medical and healthcare organizations are also calling for healthcare facilities to mandate that their workers get vaccinated.
Commenters viewed the attack on O’Donnell as just more of the same from President Biden:
Ugh, I have no idea why he hates women so much. So sad to see.
— John C. Barry (@ShrinkGov) July 26, 2021
He should look in the mirror. He’s twiddling his thumbs while “Rome burns.”
— suv (@suv49) July 26, 2021
She should be happy she didnt try to sniff her or start talking to her about zombies sucking out her blood
— Wesley Charles (@mightyguey76) July 26, 2021
Can U imagine how the media would react if Trump did this? Good lord they went nuts went Trump went after the dope Jim Acosta. Its a shame he did this….doing her job and she gets called a pain in the neck.
— Cygnus X-1 (@CygnusX91686539) July 26, 2021
This is a chilling attack on the freedom of the press by President Biden
— Mantis Toboggan M.D. (@MantisT0boggan) July 26, 2021
Grandpa is tired and cranky today.
— moreliberty (@Freemarketplz) July 26, 2021
Meet the new boss. “Worse” than the old boss. Enjoy 😂😂. #MAGA
— Sir Joseph Blowe (@sirjosephblowe) July 26, 2021
If Trump had said that, you and your commie buddies would be mass producing stories on how he is trying to destroy the press.
— MaidenAmerica (@MaidenAmerica4) July 26, 2021
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