White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki brutally mocked Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for his claim that vaccine mandates are causing flights to be canceled.
At the White House Press Briefing yesterday, a journalist asked Psaki to respond “to people who say vaccine mandates have reduced the workforce and contributed to this problem.”
The journalist didn’t name names, but Psaki knew one person making that point.
“Well, I know world-renowned business, travel, and health expert Senator Ted Cruz has made that point,” she said bitingly. “But I wouldn’t say that that is widely acknowledged or echoed by business leaders who have implemented these mandates, by health experts who have conveyed the way to get out of the pandemic is to ensure that we’re doing exactly the steps the President has announced and we are working to implement.”
“Ultimately, the job of the president of the United States is to lead, is to follow the advice of health experts, is to ensure that he is protecting the lives of people across the country.”
Psaki was referring to a tweet from Cruz that blamed canceled Southwest Airlines flights on Biden’s mandate that federal contractors like major airlines ensure that their workers are vaccinated in order to keep workplaces safe.
“Joe Biden’s illegal vaccine mandate at work!” Cruz tweeted Sunday. “Suddenly, we’re short on pilots & air traffic controllers. #ThanksJoe.”
“So I know there was a little hubbub over the course of the last few days about Southwest Airlines,” Psaki concluded. “We now know that some of those claims were absolutely false and, actually, the issues were completely unrelated to vaccine mandates.”
Question: What’s the WH response to people who say that vaccine mandates have reduced the workforce?
Psaki: I know world renowned business travel and health expert Senator Ted Cruz has made that point but…. pic.twitter.com/oJ9d3bGKR8
— Acyn (@Acyn) October 12, 2021
Over 2000 flights were canceled this past weekend, which Southwest said was because of bad weather and air traffic control issues. Several employees have been vocal on social media in asking coworkers to take a “sickout” in protest of the vaccine mandate, and one of them appeared on Fox News to claim that the flights were all canceled because so many pilots were protesting the vaccine mandate.
The airline canceled the most flights on Sunday – around 30% of scheduled flights did not happen. By Tuesday evening, only two percent of scheduled flights were canceled.
This past February, Cruz was caught fleeing the country as Texas froze in unusually cold weather during a winter storm. Power and gas were knocked out for many residents of the state and state officials scrambled to find solutions while local leaders organized volunteers and donations.
Around 210 Texans died during the freeze and Cruz was forced to return home early from his vacation as pictures of him at the airport went viral. He later said that going on vacation while his constituents faced a crisis “was obviously a mistake and in hindsight, I wouldn’t have done it.”
But that didn’t stop him from mocking President Joe Biden for spending last weekend in his home state of Delaware. Republicans criticized Biden for “running away from all the problems he has caused,” implying that he should not even have weekends off from his job.
Cruz – the “world-renowned business, travel, and health expert” – decided to bring up his Cancun trip again and tweeted: “Cancun is lovely this time of year.”