White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Tuesday, May 25, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
UPDATED 7:48 AM PT – Wednesday, May 26, 2021
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki is facing criticism after she implied the recent uptick in crime can be attributed to the coronavirus pandemic. Her comments came Tuesday when a reporter asked her to clarify the White House’s stance on rising crime rates while citing an increase in the number of homicides in the Democrat-led cities of Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Chicago.
This comes as crime rates have been following an upward trend since last May amid Black Lives Matter riots and calls to defund the police. However, Psaki attempted to blame the uptick on the pandemic instead.
“Most data that is out there shows that there’s actually been a rise in crime over the course of the last year since the start of the pandemic, which actually pre-dates President Biden taking office,” she stated in a side-step. “We’re focused on solutions here and that’s why we proposed putting $5 billion in the American Jobs Plan to help address community violence (through funding) intervention programs.”
Critics quickly pointed out that crime fell in most places at the start of the global outbreak. Additionally, the Biden administration has appeared focused on criminal justice reform instead of stopping violent crime.