At a Monday White House press conference, press secretary Jen Psaki dismantled a series of truly outlandish questions from Fox News journalist Peter Doocy, who suggested that the White House has been creating an “incentive” for Americans to “just… stay home” with increased unemployment support. Doocy also questioned the basis for a recent assertion from an administration official that Americans have been “scared.” Has Doocy… seen the news recently? Does he not think that over half a million deceased Americans from a transmissible disease is worth being at least somewhat concerned about?
Also — what does Doocy think that unemployment benefits cover, exactly? It’s no doubt the case that the assistance has helped Americans stave off literal starvation throughout recent months, but Doocy’s summary of the program is that Americans are “just… stay[ing] home.” It’s on par with the jarringly ignorant poverty=laziness trope that Republicans love so much.
After Doocy questioned the unemployment assistance, Psaki commented as follows:
‘We actually see the data and our analysis shows that lack of vaccination, the lower rate — which is why I referred to the data in the week that it was taken — it has an impact. Childcare has an impact. Schools reopening has an impact. But there is also the need to pay a livable working wage, and that’s one of the reasons the president will talk about that this afternoon.’
After Doocy asked the real head-scratcher of a follow-up question of how the White House “know[s] that people are scared,” Psaki pointedly replied as follows, discussing comments from Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo:
‘People are fearful about getting sick. They’re fearful about whether they’re going to have the conditions to be healthy, whether they can send their kids to a childcare center, whether there is a childcare center. so those are all factors that are consistent with the examples and reasons I just provided.’
Again — has Doocy looked around recently? What level of detachment from the basic circumstances of reality would be required for someone to ask such a staggeringly ignorant question? Does he think that Americans would be happy to be living in a country where hundreds of thousands of people have suddenly died from a transmissible illness?
Check out the interactions below:
Peter Doocy: How does the White House know that people are scared?
Jen Psaki: People are fearful about getting sick, they are fearful about whether they're gonna have the conditions to be healthy, whether they can send their kids to a child care center. pic.twitter.com/Cmp3qvww8V
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 10, 2021