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Psaki blames COVID and unvaccinated for Biden's 38% approval

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 10/9/2021 Shannon Thaler For Dailymail.Com
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White House press secretary Jen Psaki pinned at least part of the blame for President Joe Biden's plummeting approval ratings on the pandemic and the 20 percent of unvaccinated Americans.

Psaki's finger-pointing came as Biden's approval rating nosedived to 38 percent, with 53 percent saying they disapprove of how Biden has handled the presidency,  according to a poll from Quinnipiac University on Friday. 

'So 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 that he's doing unpopular things that just have to be done?' a reporter asked at the press briefing.  

Psaki replied: '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. 

'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 - less than that, 20 percent of the country - who've decided not to get vaccinated.

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'No question that's having an impact,' Psaki said, adding that, 'as the President has said, the buck stops with him' before signing off. 

Three weeks ago, the same poll found that 42 percent approved and 50 percent disapproved.

in the latest poll, 32 percent of Independents approve of Biden while 60 percent disapprove. Four percent of Republicans approve - 94 percent disapprove. Still, 80 percent of Democrats approve of the president's job overall and 10 percent disapprove. 

Biden received his lowest marks on immigration, where only 25 percent approve and 67 percent disapprove, and also received low marks on his 'first love,' foreign policy, where only 34 percent approved and 58 percent disapproved.

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Of his job as commander-in-chief, 37 percent approved, 58 percent disapproved, according to the poll.

Roughly three in 10 Americans (28 percent) agreed with Biden's decision to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan, while 50 percent think the US should have withdrawn some troops but not all troops and 15 percent think the US should not have withdrawn any troops from Afghanistan. 

Meanwhile, Congress remains at an impasse at the sweeping spend plans that will define his presidency and the threat of debt default loom. 

At the same time Biden received the worst jobs report of his presidency. Earlier today he urged Americans to look at the bigger picture, pushing his infrastructure bill and trillion-dollar package of social programs.

'If you take a look at the trend itself, on average 600,000 new jobs created every month since I took office,' Biden said. 

'In total, job creation in the first eight months of my administration is nearly 5million jobs. Now that's progress,' he added.

But just 194,000 jobs were added to the payroll in September, falling far short of the 500,000 that were expected, and offering one of the most dismal outlooks from a US jobs report all year.  

Monthly job growth so far in 2021 has averaged 561,000. Supply chain bottlenecks and Covid-19 contributed to the unimpressive numbers.

But Biden argued the country is making 'consistent steady progress'.

'If you take a step back, look at what's happening, we're actually making real progress. Maybe doesn't seem fast enough - I'd like to see it faster,' he said, adding that 'we're making consistent steady progress'.

He also argued that the declining unemployment rate meant the country was moving forward as it grappled with its economic recovery from the Covid pandemic.

'Unemployment rate down 4.8 percent, a significant improvement from when I took office and the sign that our recovery is moving forward,' he said.

He did not respond to questions from reporters after he made his remarks.

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