Peter Doocy is speechless when Jen Psaki asks him what the number one cause of death for police officers was last year (it was Covid!)


BREAKING: Jen Psaki leaves FOX News’ Peter Doocy speechless after he tries to attack Biden over police vaccine mandates and she responds, “Do you what the #1 cause of death among police officers last year? It was COVID.”

MS. PSAKI:  Yep.  Go ahead, Peter.

Q    Thank you, Jen.  Why is the administration flying

thousands of migrants from the border to Florida and New York in the middle of the night?

MS. PSAKI:  Well, I’m not sure that’s in the middle of the night, but let me tell you what’s happening here.

Q    2:13 a.m., 4:29 a.m. — very early in the morning then.  Pre-dawn.

MS. PSAKI:  Well, here — here we are talking about early flights — earlier than you might like to take a flight.

It is our legal responsibility to safely care for unaccompanied children until they swiftly — can be swiftly unified with a parent or a vetted sponsor.  And that’s something we take seriously; we have a moral ri- — obligation to come to do that and deliver on that.

As a part of the unification process, our Office of Refugee Resettlement facilitates travel for children in its custody to their families or sponsors across the country.  So, in recent weeks, unaccompanied children passed through the Westchester airport, which I think is what you’re referring to, en route to their final destination to be unified with their parents or a vetted sponsor.

It’s no surprise that kids can be seen traveling through states, not just New York.  It’s something that we’re also working to unite children with their family members or vetted sponsors in other parts of the country as well.

Q    Okay.  To follow up on some of the tax talk, there’s this new proposal by Democrats in Congress and the Treasury Secretary to start monitoring every bank account that has $10,000 of cash flow per year.  So, is the plan to catch billionaire tax cheats by snooping on accounts that just have $10,000 in them?

MS. PSAKI:  Well, that’s not exactly an accurate description, so let me help you with an accurate description of what is actually happening here.  And there was a statement by the Secretary of Treasury on exactly this, where she said in this statement — just to reiterate — that she deeply appreciates “the work of Chairman Wyden and Chairman Neal’s leadership on reconciliation and, in particular, the need to close the tax gap.”

At the core of a discrepancy in the ways types of income are reported to the IRS are opaque income sources frequently which avoid — frequently avoid scrutiny, while wages and federal benefits are typically subject to full compliance.  So people who get W-2s — whether they are teachers, firefighters, employees at Fox News, anywhere where they may be getting a W-2 — that’s not what we’re talking about here; they’re already reporting their income.

We’re talking about high-net-worth individuals who are not paying the taxes they owe, and that’s what this policy would propose to address.

Q    But in the statement that you just cited, it says, “Many top earners avoid paying billions in the taxes that they owe by exploiting the system.” 

So, what — why is it that you need to start looking at accounts that just have $10,000 in it?  Maybe somebody doesn’t get a W-2.

MS. PSAKI:  That is — that is not exactly what it does. The $10,000 is the — anything under that would not be applicable, nor would people who received W-2s, Peter.  What we’re talking about here are people who are high-net-worth individuals who are not paying the taxes they owe — something we think everybody believes should happen and can help pay for in a range of important investments to make us more competitive.

Q    Okay.  And then just one on vaccine requirements.  If the whole point of a vaccine mandate is to make people safer, but a vaccine mandate also means tons of police and military may walk off the job, then, at the end of the day, does a vaccine mandate make people safer?

MS. PSAKI:  Well, where are tons of police and military walking off the job?

Q    Well, the Washington Post says that hundreds of thousands of U.S. service members remain unvaccinated, which is leading to questions about possible military readiness.  The L.A. County Sheriff says that 5 to 10 percent of their workforce could walk off the job.  And so, considering the — I mean, is there any concern about that?

MS. PSAKI:  Well, I would say what we point to, or what I would point you to, is evidence with a range of companies, organizations.  Frankly, the Department of Defense can also give you the up-to-date statistics on members of the military; I believe it’s over 90 percent, but I would point you to them for statistics.

Q    In certain branches.  But there are other problems in the world than COVID-19: international terror, gang violence, murder, arson, drug-dealing. 

MS. PSAKI:  What was —

Q    Is there any concern about dealing with these things?

MS. PSAKI:  What was the highe- — what was the number-one cause of death among police officers last year?  Do you know?  COVID-19.  So that’s something that we’re working to address and police departments are working to address. 

If you look at Seattle, as an example — which I know has been in some of the reporting — 92 percent of the police force is vaccinated, as are 93 percent of firefighters; 99 percent of Seattle’s 11,000 employees have submitted vaccine verification or an exemption request.

Q    My question is about public safety, though.  All these other problems — terror, murder, robberies, kidnappings — is there any concern that if police forces shrink or if the size of the ready military force shrinks that the United States or localities may not be equipped properly to deal with that or to respond?

MS. PSAKI:  Peter, more than 700,000 people have died of COVID.  Again, it was the number-one cause of death among police departments and police officers.  It’s something that we should take seriously.  Departments are trying to save people in their departments, people who work for them.  We support that effort, and there’s been success across the country in that regard.

Q    Thank you, Jen.  Given that you have two separate meetings with moderates and progressives today, is this White House confident that it will reach a deal on reconciliation by Democratic leadership’s self-imposed October 31st deadline?

MS. PSAKI:  That’s not a deadline that we have proposed.  The timeline for that is the surface transportation bill expiring, which is, of course, important — something we need to renew and save the jobs of thousands of employees who could be furloughed. 

But what our effort is and our focus is on is continuing to make progress, and we are getting closer to an agreement on a path forward to deliver for the American people.  The President believes in the value of meeting face-to-face, hence the meetings today and his full day of meetings today.  And we believe his view of the urgency here is reflected in the views of a lot of these members he’s meeting with as well.

Q    So, I hear you saying essentially that it’s unlikely that you will reach — and I understand that’s not your deadline, but, still, it’s the deadline set by Democratic leadership.  I hear you indicating it’s unlikely you’ll have an agreement by October 31st.

MS. PSAKI:  That’s not what I — no, that’s actually not what I’m indicating.  I’m indicating that we’re continuing to make progress.  We’re getting close to the final stages here.  We’re working to get agreement on a path forward.  We’re making progress on that. 

Q    Will it happen by the October 31st?

MS. PSAKI:  I’m not going to set new deadlines.  I understand why you guys want them; they’re not particularly constructive otherwise.  So —

Q    Let me ask you about what Senator Manchin said.  He said, “I don’t know how that would happen.”  He went further than you are going.  How can the President press for urgency in these talks when one of the top negotiators clearly doesn’t think that this is imminent — a deal is imminent?

MS. PSAKI:  I think the President’s view, which is shared by the vast majority of the Democratic Caucus, is that he proposed these plans months ago.  We’ve had months to discuss, consider, debate, litigate the nitty-gritty details.  We’re continuing to do that today, and it will come time soon to move forward and deliver for the American people.  And that’s something that the vast majority of the caucus agrees on.

Q    Let me just ask you about the Child Tax Credit —

MS. PSAKI:  Sure.

Q    — because there’s been some discussion — a push by moderates for those tax credits to be limited to families making less than $60,000.  Would the President agree to a final deal that only applied to those — that didn’t apply to those making less than $60,000?

And what would you say to families who say they just missed the cut and they need those benefits?

MS. PSAKI:  Well, there’s a lot of proposals that are out there.  I’m not going to speak to every single one of them. 

Q    (Inaudible.)

MS. PSAKI:  We’re going to look at a final package.  The President proposed an extension of the Child Tax Credit.  He has also supported, at times, as you know, income caps for a range of his proposals, including the Child Tax Credit.

But again, I’m not going to speak to individual proposals at this point in time.

Q    Can I ask you about Haiti —

MS. PSAKI:  Yeah.

Q    — Jen, quickly?  There are reports that the gang that kidnapped the 17 American and Canadian missionaries is asking for $17 million for their release — a million dollars per person.  What is the administration’s response to that, particularly in light of the policy that the U.S. does not negotiate with those holding hostages?

MS. PSAKI:  Well, that remains our policy, and I can’t get into too many details operationally here because that’s never — has never been in the interest of bringing people home who are being held for ransom.

What I can reiterate, Kristen, is that the FBI is a part of a coordinated U.S. government effort to get the U.S. citizens involved to safety; also, that the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince is coordinating with local authorities and providing assistance to the families to resolve the situation.

I’d also note that we’ve had a travel advisory for Haiti, which is at a Level 4, conveying do not travel due to kidnapping, crime, civil unrest, and, of course, COVID-19.  But kidnapping is widespread and victims regularly include U.S. citizens.  We know these groups target U.S. citizens who they assume have the resources and finances to pay ransoms, even if that is not the case.  So, that is also something that is — remains a concern to us, but I can’t get into more operational details.

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