The White House on Tuesday backed the right of Canadian truckers to protest Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the overbearing coronavirus restrictions and vaccine mandates.
“We of course support as you know the right to freedom of speech and protest,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during the daily briefing on Tuesday.
“Everyone can peacefully protest, we fully support that,” she added.
The White House response differs from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who smeared Freedom Convoy protestors as a “fringe minority” with “unacceptable views” and described them as racist.
The ongoing protests of the Canadian vaccine mandates and coronavirus restrictions shut down traffic on the Ambassador Bridge between Canada and Detroit on Monday, a major trade route with the United States.
Psaki, however, downplayed the idea that the congestion was directly related to vaccine requirements, claiming there is “zero indication” that vaccine requirements in various industries cause disruptions.
“While we do see some of these congestions due to protests, it’s clear these disruptions have broadened in scope beyond the vaccine requirement implementation,” she said.
Psaki defended the idea of vaccine mandates but acknowledged the protests were having an impact.
“We know that requirements work,” she said. “We have not seen a disruption as it relates to requirements in the industry, where we have seen disruption has been related to these convoys and protests.”
When asked about reports of an organization of truckers in the United States protesting vaccine mandates conducting their own protest in Washington, D.C., Psaki deferred to security and law enforcement officials in the administration.