The White House is blaming President Joe Biden's dismal approval ratings on Americans not vaccinated against COVID-19.
What is the background?
New polls released last week showed that Biden's approval ratings continue to tank. A Quinnipiac University poll, for example, found Biden's approval rating to be just 38%. Biden's average numbers, according to RealClearPolitics, currently stand at 52% disapproval and just 43.3% approval.
Biden's spiraling approval has been compounded by self-inflicted mistakes — including the ongoing border crisis, numerous unsuccessful legislative battles on Capitol Hill, and the botched Afghanistan withdrawal — while economic woes related to the pandemic have not improved under Biden's leadership.
In fact, the September jobs report, released on Friday, showed just 194,000 jobs were added in September, far fewer than the 500,000 that economists expected. The report was so bad that CNBC hosts were unable to hide their shock over the dismal report.
What did the WH say?
During a press briefing at the White House on Friday, press secretary Jen Psaki was confronted over Biden's "really terrible" approval ratings.
Agence France-Presse reporter Sebastian Smith asked, "What do you make of these really terrible polls? Are they that he's doing something wrong? Is it just the communication? Or is it he's doing unpopular things that have to be done?"
In response, Psaki partially blamed unvaccinated Americans for the president's woes.
"Well, look, I would say that this is a really tough time in our country. We're still battling COVID, and a lot of people thought we'd be through it, including us," Psaki began.
"And we — because of the rise of the delta variant, because of the fact that even though it was a vaccine that was approved under a Republican administration, even though we now have full FDA approval, and even though it's widely available across the country, we still have a quarter of the country who have, less than that, 20% of the country who've decided not to get vaccinated," Psaki continued.
"No question that's having an impact," she declared.
Psaki later added the White House is focused on "getting the pandemic under control" and returning to "a version of normal" life.