White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre raised eyebrows on Tuesday for completely out of touch claims about the fentanyl crisis.
Her response came after Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy asked the spokeswoman about the killing and kidnapping of Americans who crossed the border into Mexico from Brownsville, Texas.
"So cartels kill Americans on this side of the border with drugs, and now they're killing Americans on the other side of the border with guns. Why is President Biden so comfortable with cartels operating so close to the U.S.?" he asked.
Bizarrely, she responded by claiming fentanyl is at “historic lows.”
"Because of the work that this president has done, because of what we’ve done specifically on fentanyl at the border, it’s at historic lows — historic levels that we have been able to record a number of personnel working to secure the border because of what we’ve been able to do, seizing that fentanyl," Jean-Pierre said. "We’ve done it in a historic way. That’s because of what this president has done."
Critics were quick to jump on that claim.
Fuller KJP comments on fentanyl are...yikes: “B/c of the work that this President has done, b/c of what we’ve done specifically on fentanyl at the border, it’s at historic lows. Historic levels that we have been able to record — a number of personnel working to secure the border”— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) March 7, 2023
Possible misspeak? In no way is fentanyl at “historic lows”. Seizures and ODs have hit record highs.— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) March 7, 2023
KJP appears to be implying that record high seizures are a good thing. It’s a double edged sword. Border officials will tell you they only catch a fraction of what comes… https://t.co/rRU2RYlMEv
Historic low???? Fact-checkers asleep at the wheel again. And it's intentional. https://t.co/uwWG14gKWu— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) March 8, 2023
In an interview last year highlighted by GOP rapid response director Tommy Pigott, Anne Milgram, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, said Mexican cartels are behind the fentanyl crisis plaguing America.
"What we see happening at DEA is essentially that there are two cartels in Mexico, the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, that are killing Americans with fentanyl at catastrophic and record rates like we have never seen before," she told "CBS Mornings." "Those cartels are acting with calculated, deliberate treachery to get fentanyl to the United States and to get people to buy it through fake pills, by hiding it in other drugs, any means that they can take in order to drive addiction and to make money."
According to DEA Administrator Anne Milgram, cartels are “killing Americans with fentanyl at catastrophic and record rates like we've never seen before.”— Tommy Pigott (@TommyPigott) March 7, 2023
To claim success amid this devastation is an insult to the hundreds of thousands who have lost loved ones. https://t.co/TwCzH7IRGP
As The New York Times reports, drug overdose deaths reached record-breaking levels in 2021, mainly because of fentanyl.