At a White House press briefing aboard Air Force One on Wednesday, a reporter asked press secretary Jen Psaki if vaccines would be required in the private sector and if there would be a government door-knocking campaign to push for forced government vaccinations.
“Yesterday you talked about door-knocking, which is a pretty standard thing, and it was picked up in the far-right sphere as ‘the government is going to come to your door and make you get the vaccine.’ I’m wondering [what] your reaction [was] to that,” asked a reporter, according to The Post Millennial.
Psaki replied, “What this effort is, is a continuation of what we have seen as an impactful effort that we’ve had by local public health officials and volunteers in a range of communities over the last month of action.”
“We’ve actually seen an impact, a positive impact of a range of steps we’ve taken in states like Florida, Mississippi, others where there have been lower vaccination rates.”
Psaki added that lack of access to information is the biggest hurdle preventing people from seeking vaccination, adding that the Biden administration would continue to deploy these tactics to reach their goals for vaccination rates. She then noted that vaccination is up to the individual. But then another reporter interjected, asking whether mandates could be a means to push vaccination rates further.
The reporter then pointed to the opinion of some public health officials who, while appreciative of voluntary vaccinations, “they also think that the only way to get to much larger numbers of vaccinated people is if there are mandates” coming from private companies, public schools or states.
After framing the question, the reporter then asked if it was the federal government’s stance that they really “do not want to encourage the kind of mandates that public health officials say would work?”
“That’s not currently the role of the federal government,” Psaki responded.
“Our role is to provide supply, provide information, provide public health experts, as to your point, there are a number of private sector entities, universities, institutions that are starting to mandate, and that’s an innovating step that they will take and they should take,” she added. “We’re not taking issue with that.”
Psaki then mentioned that if private institutions were to require vaccinations, the federal government would not stand in their way.
“There are institutions, there are private sector entities that will take this step, and we’re not standing in their way. Those are innovative steps. Go forward and take steps that you feel are appropriate. We’re just talking about what the role is of the federal government.”
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