Jen Psaki has dismissed claims that vaccination warrants have a negative impact on business.
Psaki called Cruz a “world-renowned business, travel and health expert” during his briefing.
Cruz blamed Southwest Airlines’ flight cancellations on vaccination warrants, which the airline denied.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday dismissed recent GOP claims that vaccine requirements are negatively impacting business, a notion Republican Senator Ted Cruz pushed over the weekend. end.
“Joe Biden’s illegal vaccine mandate at work! Suddenly, we are short of pilots and air traffic controllers. #Thank you Joe”, Cruz tweeted Sunday in response to a report that Southwest Airlines canceled more than 1,800 flights.
That report cited a Southwest spokesperson as saying the airline’s newly imposed vaccination mandate on its employees was not the cause of flight cancellations. “This is incorrect,” the spokesperson told CNBC. “There are a lot of rumors and unfounded speculation going around. Instead, the airline said weather issues and air traffic control issues were mainly to blame.
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Still, Fox News reporter Jacqui Heinrich brought up the GOP talking point at Tuesday’s press conference, asking Psaki, “What is the White House’s response to those who say vaccination warrants downsized and contributed to this problem? “
Psaki began his response by referring to Cruz’s comments: “Well, I know the world-renowned expert in business, travel and health, Senator Ted Cruz, made this point. But I wouldn’t say not that this is widely recognized or echoed by the business leaders who implemented these mandates. “
“That’s not to say it’s not difficult and challenging – of course it is. We are in the midst of a global pandemic,” she continued. “But at the end of the day, the job of the President of the United States is to lead, to take the advice of health experts, to make sure he is protecting the lives of people across the country.”
Psaki also directly mentioned the “hubbub” over the weekend about Southwest Airlines, adding that “we now know that some of these claims were absolutely false, and in fact the issues were totally unrelated to the mandates of vaccination ”.
Cruz then responded on Twitter to a video of Psaki’s comments, claiming that the White House “threw sarcastic insults at him.”
He went on to add that he spoke with a “credible senior aviation source” who said there was a “sick” of air traffic controllers protesting against vaccination warrants.
Cruz’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Besides Southwest Airlines, the pilots’ union also denied rumors coming from conservative circles, saying on Saturday that “our pilots are not participating in any official or unofficial action.”
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