White House Press Secretary ‘circled back’ to the issue of door-to-door vaccination checks, which she had announced at a press conference on Tuesday.
Psaki’s plain and simple message to Americans criticizing the move: You’re doing a “disservice” to the country.” Watch:
“We don’t maintain a database along those lines and have no plans to,” Psaki said in response to a question about how they would know who is vaccinated and who isn’t.
“We do know where there are rates of vaccination across the country and we know, as I just listed in some of the data, that there are tactics that are powerful and impactful,” Psaki said. “I will say the thing that is a bit frustrating to us is that when people are critical of these tactics, it’s really a disservice to the country and to the doctors, faith leaders, community leaders and others who are working to get people vaccinated.”
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The White House’s rhetorical pushback came after a slew of criticism, as well as a letter from Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich that had strong words for the Biden policy proposal.
“I, along with many Arizonans, was greatly alarmed by your White House indicating that it might be in possession of medical records revealing the contact information for Americans who have not been vaccinated,” Brnovich wrote. “If this is the case, this is a severe breach of privacy, and I will not tolerate such intrusions within Arizona.”
The Daily Caller reported that the government “is not obtaining private medical information for non-vaccinated Americans.”
“The administration has been making use of public data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to focus on areas with low rates of vaccination,” an official told the Daily Caller.
“Using CDC data, we targeted areas with low vaccination rates and large ‘movable’ populations, and knocked on every door there,” the official said. “We saw movement in states where we deployed this tactic, including in Alabama, Florida, Texas and Georgia which had vaccination rates above the national average in the month of June. We plan to continue this work moving forward in the months ahead.”
Psaki also clarified that the people going door-to-door were “not federal government employees.”
“These are grassroots voices across the country. They are not members of the government, they are not federal government employees,” Psaki said. “They are volunteers, they are clergy, they are trusted voices in communities that are playing this role and door-knocking.”
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden also reiterated the need for strangers to go door-to-door to inquire about personal and private healthcare decisions.
“Now, we need to go community by community, neighborhood by neighborhood, and oftentimes, door to door, literally knocking on doors, to get help to the remaining people, protected from the virus,” Biden said.
On Thursday, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra appeared on CNN to refute claims that Americans’ choice to get a vaccination was ‘none of the goverrnment’s business.’
“Brianna, perhaps we should point out that the federal government has spent trillions of dollars to try to keep Americans alive during this pandemic,” Becerra responded. “So it is absolutely the government’s business.”
Millions of Americans would disagree. It may turn out that the Biden administration taking the ‘nanny state’ to the next level will backfire politically. Soon, it may be arguing that it was the Republicans’ idea in the first place.
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.