Conservatives might be priming themselves for another unnecessary panic about beer.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was caught completely off guard by Fox News’ Peter Doocy’s question about new drinking restrictions during Monday’s press briefing in Washington, however.
“I have another question that you probably were not expecting,” Doocy said, fresh back to the press room following paternity leave. “Does President Biden want to limit Americans to two beers a week?”
Flabbergasted, Jean-Pierre asked, “Where’s this coming from? Maybe I didn’t miss you so much. Where is this? Where is this coming from?”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House on Aug.14.
When Doocy pressed Jean-Pierre to discuss how drinking limits would “go over” with Americans, she deferred to “experts” for any further guidance.
“Let me tell you what, I’m not going to get involved in that question right there,” the press secretary said. “I have no idea. I’ve not seen the data. I cannot speak to this. I will leave it to the experts and not weigh in.”
Doocy’s question seemed to mischaracterize recent statements George Koob, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, made in an interview with the Daily Mail last week.
The public health advocate said recommendations regarding alcohol consumption may shift in the coming years due to increased research on drinking’s effects.
“If there’s health benefits [to not drinking,] I think people will start to re-evaluate where we’re at,” he said.
Offering a vague blueprint for the future, Koob said future U.S. guidelines could look more like those in Canada, where the recommendation is for people to have no more than two drinks a week to “avoid alcohol-related consequences.”
Current guidelines from the United States Department of Agriculture suggest men imbibe no more than two drinks per day, or 14 drinks a week, while it’s recommended women stick to one drink a day. Those recommendations could be subject to change after 2025, however.
Any change in that guidance would merely be advice, as its unclear how an anti-drinking mandate could even be enacted.