WATCH: Psaki says Canadian Freedom Convoy is more disruptive than the vaccine mandates they're protesting

"Well let me first start by saying I know there’s been some suggestion, not by reporters necessarily at all, but," Psaki said, "that this congestion is related to the vaccine requirements. It’s not..."

Nick Monroe Cleveland Ohio

After a week in the half into the Canadian trucker convoy protests against vaccine mandates, the closest the Biden administration has in response is acknowledging the situation to the north as it stands, rather than having concrete solutions readily available.

It was earlier on in January of this year that trucking companies warned about the impact of a vaccine mandate on their particular industry. But White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday sidestepped that in describing the Biden administration’s response to the matter, by talking about how vaccine mandates have gone through overall.

Reporter: "Thanks Jen. So truckers in Canada last night shut down the Ambassador bridge, which carries about a quarter of US - Canada trade goods, so what’s the administration’s response to this action, and what steps are being taken to ensure the free flow of goods and also any preventative steps being taken to address a possible blockade on the Michigan side of that bridge?"

In her response, the White House Press Secretary spent more time looking down at a prepared written answer instead of making eye contact with the reporter who asked the question.

"Well let me first start by saying I know there’s been some suggestion, not by reporters necessarily at all, but," Psaki said, "that this congestion is related to the vaccine requirements. It’s not… but the protests going on across Canada which have spread to a bridge, are leading to sporadic congestion and blockages.

"I would, just going back to my point I was trying to make, is that across what we’ve seen, with these requirements, is across a range of industries, vaccination requirements have been implemented with no disruptions, have helped increase vaccinations, these requirements help protect more people from COVID, and there has been zero indication across these industries that they would lead to disruptions, including on this policy."

What she didn't bring up is that the Supreme Court of the United States struck down the Biden administration’s COVID vaccine mandate for private businesses last month.

With that out of the way, the White House Press Secretary is free to respond to the Canadian trucker convoy protests like they’re an "other" in a technique previously used by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

"We of course, support, as you know," Psaki continued, "the right to freedom of speech and protest. But, while we do see some of these congestions due to protests this is clear that these disruptions have broadened in scope beyond the vaccine requirement implementation. Beyond that, we are of course in touch with our Canadian counterparts, but I don’t have any updates in terms of specific steps."

The incident involving the Ambassador Bridge blockade is not the first effort by Canadian protesters to demonstrate in this fashion. At the end of January, the trucker blockade of the US border crossing with southern Alberta made enough of an impact to get the attention of the RCMP.

Reporter: "Inspired by the so-called ‘freedom convoy’ in Canada, a group of US truckers say that they’re planning a similar protest in Washington DC, possibly for March 1st, to oppose COVID vaccine mandates that obviously would coincide with Biden’s State of the Union address. As you know the trucker convoy in Ottawa has been very disruptive and paralyzed parts of the city’s downtown, is the administration making preparations to be ready for an upcoming freedom convoy planned for DC? And does the White House have any concerns with similar protests happening in the nation’s capital?"

"Do you mean by preparations like security preparations?" Psaki asked.

At that the reporter attempted to clarify to that effect. "I’d have to check with our team on security preparations. I think what I would just reiterate here is that we know requirements work? We have not seen a disruption (as it relates to requirements to the industry)... where we have seen disruptions has been related to these convoys and protests. Now, everybody can peacefully protest, we fully support that, but it’s important to note where the disruption is occurring."

Big tech platform Facebook previously attempted to deplatform the American "convoy to DC 2022" on the excuse of their site’s "QAnon" rules. But much like how GiveSendGo replaced GoFundMe after they removed the Canadian fundraiser, the American convoy simply moved over to the Gab platform instead.

The status of the ongoing trucker convoy situation in Canada has led to a 78-year-old man being arrested for "unnecessary noise" by Ottawa police, since the area temporarily barred the usage of honking.

Responses by officials have varied: on the national side, Trudeau has again publicly said on Tuesday that mandates are the only way forward "to avoid further restrictions" on the population. However, on the provincial level, the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta have since publicly provided an exit ramp that removes the usage of COVID vaccine passports and mask mandates.


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