The Claim and Our Verdict
- The claim: A tweet published Oct. 27, 2021, claims that White House press secretary Jen Psaki points out that inflation doesn’t matter since there are no goods to purchase anyway.
- The claim is from an article published on The Babylon Bee, a U.S. news satire website that publishes fabricated articles on current events and politics in a satirical and comical style. It is reported in the article that White House press secretary Jen Psaki made the remark at a press conference on Oct. 22, 2021.
- According to the official White House video and transcript of the Oct. 22 press briefing by Psaki, she did not make the remarks in response to the rising inflation rate. Any remarks similar to the claim cannot be found from any press briefings on dates shortly before or after Oct. 22.
- Our ruling: Therefore, we rate the claim as FALSE.
A tweet published Oct. 27, 2021, claims White House press secretary Jen Psaki points out that inflation doesn’t matter since there are no goods to purchase anyway. A news article screenshot was attached in the tweet.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, global supply chain problems are taking a toll on countries, including the United States, as product shortages in all walks of life are threatening people’s lives and the global economic recovery, as reported by several news media outlets.
According to the headline and screenshot comparisons (see the screenshots below), the claim originates from the article “Psaki points out that inflation doesn’t matter since there are no goods to purchase anyway” published Oct. 25, 2021, on The Babylon Bee, a conservative Christian news satire website. The article claims White House press secretary Jen Psaki addressed concerns over rising inflation, noting that the impact of rising prices doesn’t matter because there’s nothing left on store shelves to buy. Psaki allegedly said that rising prices would definitely be a problem if there were things like food, clothing, or medicine available for purchase. “As it stands right now, consumers really aren’t paying higher prices because they’re not able to purchase anything. People are reporting they’ve never saved so much money in their lives,” said Psaki, according to the article.
According to the transcript and the video recording of Psaki’s Oct. 22 press briefing, during the briefing a journalist asked a question about inflation, “But this year, families are facing the highest gas prices in 7 years, 30 percent higher costs to heat their homes, inflation that is almost five times higher than it was in December. Groceries are more expensive. So, I’m wondering what Americans are facing this Thanksgiving and Christmas under President Biden when looking at economic security?”
Psaki responded, “I would say we have cut in half the unemployment rate, created 5 million jobs, ensured that 180 million Americans have been vaccinated since last year. So, yes, as the economy is turning back on, are there still fundamental issues we’re working through? Absolutely. That’s why the President is pushing to get his agenda done. But I think there’s no question that, a year ago, when we were locked in our homes; when only 1 percent of people were vaccinated; when 10 percent of people in this country were unemployed, that was incredibly dark time and dark period in our country.” She, therefore, made no such a remark that inflation doesn’t matter since there are no goods to purchase anyway at the press conference on Oct. 22, 2021.
Any remarks similar to the claim cannot be found from any press briefings on dates shortly before or after Oct. 22. Therefore, Psaki did not made such a remark at recent press conferences.
The Babylon Bee is a news satire website headquartered in the United States. It publishes fabricated articles on current events and politics in a satirical and comical style. It even brands itself on Twitter as “Fake news you can trust.” It is neither a traditional news media outlet nor a website presenting facts, but the claim quotes its article as a piece of factual information. Comments of the tweet suggest that some people confuse this article with real news, too.
Therefore, we rate the claim as FALSE.
- Twitter, tweet, Oct. 27, 2021.
- The Guardian, “America faces supply-chain disruption and shortages. Here’s why,” Oct. 1, 2021.
- The Wall Street Journal, “Global Supply-Chain Problems Escalate, Threatening Economic Recovery,” Oct. 8, 2021.
- The Babylon Bee, “Psaki Points Out That Inflation Doesn’t Matter Since There Are No Goods To Purchase Anyway,” Oct. 25, 2021.
- The White House, “Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jen Psaki,” Oct. 22, 2021.
- Twitter, The Babylon Bee.
- YouTube, The White House, “Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jen Psaki,” Oct. 23, 2021.