When pressed recently about why President Joe Biden is so unpopular with Americans, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki quickly turned to the administration’s scapegoat for almost every problem it faces, those unvaccinated against COVID.
New polling data from the last week show Biden is suffering from tanking approval ratings that continue to slide. RealClearPolitics shows Biden’s aggregate approval sits at 43.3 percent, with a 52 percent disapproval number. A poll by Quinnipiac has his approval at a dismal 38 percent.
The president’s approval numbers are circling the bowl amid self-inflicted political wounds, including the uncertainty surrounding the Build Back Better legislative spending package, the catastrophic withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Afghanistan, and skyrocketing inflation.
The press briefing at the White House Friday was held after the shocking September jobs report that indicated only 194,000 jobs were added in the month. Government economists had predicted 500,000 new jobs would be notified.
In that context, Psaki was asked about Biden’s “really terrible” job-approval ratings. Reporter Sebastian Smith wondered whether the president was doing “something wrong,” if it was “communication,” or if Biden had to do “unpopular things.”
AFP's Sebastian Smith: Biden's "very tough approval rating these days…You might say that they don't mean anything, but it's also fair to say that…when there are good polls, you publicize them. So, what do you make of these really terrible polls?" pic.twitter.com/DCRRm4IUAF
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) October 8, 2021
In her response, Psaki immediately turned to COVID, saying it is an “adamant time” in America and that we are “still battling COVID.” She said that “a lot of people” thought the country would be out of it by now, “including us.”
She said the “rise of the delta variant” was to blame, along with the 20 percent of the country “who’ve decided not to get vaccinated.” She said that even though the vaccine is fully approved by the FDA and was “approved under a Republican administration,” there is “no question that’s having an impact.” She did not elaborate on how she drew the equivalency between Republicans and the unvaccinated.
Psaki added that the White House is working on getting COVID “under control” and taking America back to some version of “normal life.”