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Jen Psaki called out a clip of Biden seeming to say states had to deal with COVID-19 on their own, saying it was misleadingly edited

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on December 20, 2021.

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

  • White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called out a video of Biden discussing COVID-19.
  • She said a clip of him saying “there is no federal solution” to COVID-19 was misleadingly edited.
  • Psaki tweeted: “Sometimes context and the full clip is important (or almost all the time)”

Jen Psaki called out a clipped video shared by the Republican party in which President Joe Biden said there was “no federal solution” to the coronavirus pandemic, claiming the video had been taken out of context.

The video went viral on Tuesday after being shared on the official Republican Party Twitter account.

It shows five seconds of video where Biden says “there is no federal solution, this gets solved at the state level.” It came from a discussion with state governors about the coronavirus pandemic the previous day.

The accompanying caption to one of the first tweet said: “Joe Biden claimed he would shut down the virus. Now a year later when he failed to do so, he says there is no federal solution to COVID. Joe Biden is a hypocrite.”

A later tweet said: “Republican governors have been leading the way, and now Joe Biden finally admitted he failed.”

Psaki subsequently shared a video published by the White House which showed a longer version of what Biden said.

“Sometimes context and the full clip is important (or almost all the time),” Psaki added.

—Jen Psaki (@PressSec) December 28, 2021

The fuller clip shows that President Biden was not admitting failure but responding to Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

Hutchinson praised Biden for recent comments about COVID-19 vaccines, and also voiced concerns that federal policies designed to tackle the coronavirus pandemic would override those of the states.

“One word of concern or encouragement for your team is that […] as you look towards federal solutions that will help alleviate the challenge, make sure that we do not let federal solutions stand in the way of state solutions,” Gov. Hutchinson told Biden.

That is when Biden made his point about the pandemic getting “solved at the state level.”

The White House’s original tweet said Biden “reaffirmed the need for a strong partnership between Federal and State governments.”

Biden himself on Tuesday described elements of a federal plan for the coronavirus pandemic.

“My Administration has the back of every governor fighting COVID-19 in their state,” he tweeted. “Last week, I rolled out a federal plan to tackle Omicron by adding vaccination and booster capacity, hospital equipment, staff, and more.”

“We’re going to get through this by working together,” he said.


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