Psaki doesn’t deny that Biden failed to ask China's Xi for help tracking COVID origins

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White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday did not deny whether President Biden requested assistance from China’s President Xi to track down the origins of COVID-19.

Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy asked Psaki why Biden, who held a meeting with Xi earlier this week, did request assistance from the Chinese leader to help American intelligence agencies working to track down the origins of COVID-19.

(AP/Getty Images)

“I would say the president’s push for the Chinese to participate more, provide more transparent data and information… we’ve never held back on that front,” Psaki said. “We’ve argued for it publicly, we’ve argued for it at every level and the president did talk in his meeting the importance of transparency, which this is exactly an example of.”

Asked specifically whether Biden had “asked President Xi to cooperate specifically with this U.S. intel agency-led investigation into the origins,” Psaki insisted Biden’s message is “clear.”

“Peter, it’s clear that that’s what we want,” Psaki responded. “That’s what we’ve been pressing on. I don’t have anymore to read out to you from the meeting.”

U.S. President Joe Biden participates in a virtual meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Roosevelt Room of the White House November 15, 2021 in Washington, DC.
((Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images))

Psaki also said the “president has spoken publicly on this a number of times,” claiming she does not believe “it’s a secret that’s what we want” and something the White House has “been pressing for.”

Xi referred to Biden as his “old friend” ahead of a highly anticipated virtual summit meeting Monday evening that did not produce any major breakthroughs. In contrary to Xi’s remarks, Psaki said during the briefing that Biden “considers him someone he has known for some time” and someone he can “have candid relationships with.”

Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, speaks during a news conference in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021.

Earlier this week, a senior administration official said Biden and Xi discussed COVID-19 and the “importance of addressing and bringing an end to the current pandemic.”

With no mention of whether Biden discussed the origins of the coronavirus with Xi, the official said the two discussed the “importance of preventing future pandemics,” as well as “the important role that transparency plays in addressing global health issues.”

Fox News’ Peter Doocy, Brooke Singman, and Thomas Barrabi contributed to this article.

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