Amid criticism of President Biden’s plan to dispatch door-to-door teams targeting “vaccine hesitant” Americans, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra insisted it’s “absolutely” the government’s right to know who has not been vaccinated.
On CNN’s “New Day” on Thursday, co-host Brianna Keilar asked the HHS chief: “I wonder if you can answer that criticism:’It’s none of the government’s business knowing who has or hasn’t been vaccinated.’ What do you say?”
“The federal government has had to spend trillions of dollars to try to keep Americans alive during this pandemic, so it is absolutely the government’s business,” Becerra replied.
He insisted it’s “the taxpayer’s business if we have to continue to spend money to try to keep people from contracting COVID and helping reopen the economy.”
“And so, it is our business to try to make sure Americans can prosper to make sure Americans can freely associate, and knocking on a door has never been against the law,” said Becerra.
On Tuesday, the White House announced it is targeting the “vaccine hesitant” with a new door-to-door campaign to urge Americans to get the COVID-19 shots. Press secretary Jen Psaki said at the daily briefing that the “targeted” outreach aims “to get remaining Americans vaccinated by ensuring they have the information they need about both how safe and accessible the vaccine is.”
President Biden said Tuesday that millions remain unvaccinated against COVID, putting their “communities are at risk, their friends are at risk, the people they care about are at risk.”
After a backlash, citing concerns about government control and privacy, the White House later said the program will deploy volunteer citizens rather than federal officials. And the government will not use any medical records to verify who has been vaccinated.
Keilar asked Becerra if the administration would enact a vaccine mandate.
“There are any number of ways to try to continue to make progress, and the president has demonstrated that he is open to moving in any direction we can to help Americans get safe, be safe, feel safe,” Becerra said. “We’ll continue to provide Americans access. We’re gonna go where you are so that you can get vaccinated.”
See the interview:
Meanwhile, White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci chastised Americans who have decided not to be vaccinated for COVID-19 after weighing the risks and benefits.
“What is the problem? Get over it. Get over this political statement. Just get over it, and try to save the lives of yourself and your family,” he said in an interview Wednesday with MSNBC.
See Fauci’s remarks:
Dr. Fauci on vaccine hesitancy:
“What is the problem? Get over it. Get over this political statement. Just get over it, and try and save the lives of yourself and your family.”pic.twitter.com/vbDfac4rxt
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) July 8, 2021
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