Jen Psaki clashed with a Fox News reporter when he questioned why Joe Biden still referred to Covid-19 as a “pandemic of the unvaccinated”.
The White House press secretary pounded Pete Doocy with virus statistics after he highlighted the large number of vaccinated Americans suffering breakthrough infections.
It was Mr Doocy’s first press briefing back after he suffered a breakthrough infection himself.
“I understand that the science says that vaccines prevent death,” said Mr Doocy.
“But I’m triple-vaxxed, still got Covid. You’re triple-vaxxed, still got Covid. Why is the president still referring to this as a pandemic of the unvaccinated?”
Ms Psaki reminded Mr Doocy that she had only suffered “minor symptoms” after getting Covid-19 following vaccination.
“There is a huge difference between that and being unvaccinated,” she said bluntly.
“You are 17 times more likely to go to the hospital if you’re not vaccinated, 20 times more likely to die.
“So yes, the impact for people who are unvaccinated is far more dire than for those who are vaccinated.”
Mr Doocy’s questioning of Ms Psaki came just days after his own father, Steve Doocy of Fox & Friends, explained he viewed the vaccine like a bullet-proof vest.
He said on Fox News that while the vest may not “stop a bullet” from hitting the person wearing it, “it won’t let the bullet kill you.”
The United States has now seen more than 60.2m Covid cases during the pandemic, and 836,000 deaths.
With the Omicron variant still surging in the US, the daily average of Covid-19 hospitalisations for the week ending January 4 was 16,458, says the CDC.