President Joe Biden showed disgust at a reporter’s question Thursday at the end of a briefing in which he signed 10 executive orders to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sitting at a desk as he signed the final order, Biden heard AP White House reporter Zeke Miller ask about a previously announced goal of vaccinating 100 million Americans during the administration’s first 100 days.
“Shouldn’t you set the goal higher? That’s basically where the U.S. is right now,” Miller said.
Biden smirked and replied without raising his voice.
“When I announced it, you all said it was not possible,” Biden told Miller. “C’mon, gimme a break, man. It’s a good start, 100 million.”
The president then got up and exited the White House State Dining Room.
Biden, who has a history of snapping at reporters, rarely took questions during the campaign. When he did hold press conferences, reporters often were criticized for asking less-than-hard-hitting questions, per Fox News.
Vice President Kamala Harris and Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, joined Biden in the dining room for the announcement and signings.
“Things are going to continue to get worse before they get better,” said Biden, who added the U.S. death toll likely would top 500,000 next month.
The executive orders signed included plans to utilize the Defense Production Act to improve testing, treatment and vaccination distribution; provide new guidelines to keep workers safe; issue an equitable response for minority communities most impacted by the virus; implement new international travel restrictions; reopen schools safely; improve communications between the federal government and the states; and maintain better COVID-19 related data, per C-SPAN.
When Biden took office on Wednesday, Bloomberg News data estimated 912,497 doses of vaccine were being delivered daily under outgoing President Donald Trump.
During a briefing later Thursday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki preferred to use an overall daily average. She said that under Trump’s administration, about 17 million of 36 million vaccines were administered — a rate of about 500,000 a day, per the New York Post.
”What we are proposing is to double that to about 1 million shots per day,” Psaki said. ”We have outlined this goal and objective in coordination and consultation with our health and medical experts.”
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