After White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki and President Biden himself discussed going door-to-door to check Americans for vaccinations on Tuesday, another Biden official is pushing back against critics saying it is none of the administration’s “business.”
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra appeared on CNN with Brianna Keilar in an interview on Thursday. Watch:
“Amid growing concerns over the fast-spreading Delta variant, the Biden administration’s new efforts to knock on doors to encourage more Americans to get vaccinated is not without criticism from some on the right,” Keilar said, ignoring that people who are not ‘on the right’ might object.
“Texas Congressman Dan Crenshaw tweeting, ‘How about don’t knock on my door. You’re not my parents, you’re the government. Make the vaccine available and let people be free to choose. Why is that concept so hard for the left’?” Keilar read. “Arizona Congressman Andy Biggs tweeting, ‘It’s none of the government’s business knowing who has or hasn’t been vaccinated’,” she added.
“I wonder if you can answer that criticism,” Keilar asked Becerra. “It’s none of the government’s business knowing who has or hasn’t been vaccinated. What do you say?”
“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.”
“It is taxpayers’ business if we have to continue to spend money to try to keep people from contracting COVID and helping reopen the economy,” he continued. “And so it is our business to try to make sure Americans can prosper, Americans can freely associate, and knocking on a door has never been against the law. You don’t have to answer, but we hope you do. Because if you haven’t been vaccinated, we can help dispel some of the rumors you’ve heard and hopefully get you vaccinated.”
Keilar then demonstrated that some Americans’ concern that ‘asking’ people face-to-face about a private health matter and using social intimidation to accomplish policy objectives is just a ‘foot-in-the-door’ to the regime making citizens ‘prove’ they have been vaccinated.
“There are experts — listen, we hear please from President Biden telling people to get vaccinated. But what we’re seeing is a decline in vaccinations,” he continued. “And there are folks who say more needs to be done, like Dr. Leana Wen who in an op ed for the ‘Washington Post’ said, quote, ‘that’s not nearly enough. Biden needs to get behind proof of vaccination starting with his own White House events, a gathering touting the United States progress toward independence from the virus should have been the ideal opportunity to make the case for vaccine requirements. It matters for everyone, including the vaccinated.’ What’s your response to that? Having people say, ‘Yes, I am vaccinated,’ and — and proving it, or at least having them attest to it?”
“Well, there are any number of ways to try to continue to make progress, and the president has demonstrated he is open to moving in any direction we can to help Americans get safe, be safe, feel safe,” he continued. “And so we’ll continue to provide Americans access. We’re going to go where you are so that you can get vaccinated and we’ll do everything we can. And what we’ve done is allowed the states through our governors, our mayors, and county supervisors to determine how best to approach to people in their neighborhoods.”
“You’re seeing people die disproportionately in places where folks are not vaccinated,” Keilar noted.
“Yeah, that’s absolutely the case,” Becerra said. “And perhaps the best story there, the best data point to really put out there for folks is that today about 99 percent of those who are contracting COVID and dying are unvaccinated. And so if you want to stay alive, if you’re going to contract Covid and you want to stay alive, best chance will be if you’re vaccinated.”
“So why not model — why not model that? I hear you saying leave it to local leaders, leave it to governors. Why not at least model how you let people into an event?” Keilar asked.
“Well, Brianna, you heard — you read off some of the comments of some representatives in Congress, and that particular type of thinking is not — it’s out there and we want to give people the sense that they have the freedom to choose.”
“But we hope they choose to live and we’re going to make it possible for them to have a good life,” he added. “And, by the way, protect their family and loved ones at the same time. We hope people make the right choices. We want them to have the right information. But we are America. We try to give people as much freedom and choice as possible. But clearly when over 600,000 Americans have died, the best choice is to get vaccinated.”
The remarks reinforce Biden’s message from Tuesday: “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.”
Since the COVID pandemic is in retreat due to a combination of natural immunity and vaccinated immunity, many are wondering if the Biden administration’s aggressive approach to ‘get in the faces’ of Americans will pay off. It may lead to political blowback after a classic case of left-wing government overreach.
Jen Psaki Warns Americans: ‘We Will Be Going Door to Door’ to Check If You Have Taken the Vaccine
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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.