White House press secretary Jen Psaki claimed that the coronavirus pandemic is a root cause of a rash of incidents where criminals are organizing themselves to loot stores.
Psaki was answering questions from Fox News reporter Peter Doocy when he pressed her about Biden's stance on crime.
"Does the President still think that crime is up because of the pandemic?" asked Doocy.
"I think many people have conveyed that, and also one of the reasons that crime," Psaki responded, "one of the root reasons crime we’ve — root causes of crime in communities is guns and gun violence. And we’ve seen that statistically around the country."
"But, to your point, so when a huge group of criminals organizes themselves and they want to go loot a store — a CVS, a Nordstrom, a Home Depot — until the shelves are clean, do you think that’s because of the pandemic?" he asked.
"I think a root cause in a lot of communities is the pandemic, yes," replied Psaki.
Psaki's claim was mocked and ridiculed by many on social media.
Incidents of "smash and grab" robberies have been documented across the country. In one incident near San Francisco, California, more than 80 masked and armed robbers looted a Nordstrom department store and assaulted several employees. While some were arrested, many more got away with thousands of dollars worth of stolen merchandise.
In Los Angeles, even when looting suspects are arrested, a new "zero cash bail" policy prevents them from being held in detention, and they are released onto the streets after being processed.
Some have criticized the use of the word "looting" to describe the robberies and claimed that the word has racial undertones.
Here's more from Psaki the criminologist:
'All This Lawlessness': Reporter And Psaki Clash Over Rising Retail Crime www.youtube.com