Jen Psaki Downplays Southwest Airlines Flight Cancelations Uproar: ‘I Know There Was a Little Hubbub’

At today’s press briefing, White House press secretary today attempted to downplay Southwest Airlines flight cancelations at her press briefing today by suggesting it was simply “A little hubbub.”

Psaki was asked about what the White House’s response was to those who suggested that vaccine mandates “Have reduced the work force and contributed to this problem?”

In response, Psaki brought up U.S. Sen Ted Cruz (R-TX) and his criticism of the mandates over the weekend which we reported on.

“I know there was a little hubbub over the last couple of days about Southwest Airlines, we now know that some of those claims were absolutely false and actually the issues were completely unrelated to vaccine mandate,” Psaki insisted.

Politifact has now issued a fact check, shooting down those who suggest that the issue with the canceled flights was related to the vaccine mandates.

But the cancellations occurred shortly after the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association petitioned a court to temporarily block the company’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, prompting speculation among some social media users that the flights were dropped not because of bad weather or other issues, but because Southwest pilots staged a walkout or sickout in a protest against the mandate. The unsubstantiated posts were flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) 

Later on, when asked about skyrocketing gas prices and a bad jobs report, Psaki said that COVID-19 “continues to be front and center on the minds of the American people.”

“We don’t get too glum around here, even if things look challenging, our view and his view is that he was elected to continue to push forward and address the challenges that the American people are facing,” Psaki added.

It appears that Psaki is more concerned about how the administration looks than with the fact that thousands of Americans were stranded at airports.