Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra claimed on Thursday it was “absolutely the government’s business” to know which Americans haven’t yet received the COVID-19 vaccine.
Becerra told CNN that the government has had to “spend trillions of dollars to try to keep Americans alive during this pandemic,” in an attempt to justify the government’s potential invasion of privacy as they look to keep track of which Americans are unvaccinated.
“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 said.
Becerra also addressed criticism over the Biden admin’s new “door to door” marketing strategy for the vaccine which they will use to ‘encourage’ Americans to get vaccinated.
Becerra said people didn’t have to answer the door but he hoped they would so officials could dispel rumors about the vaccine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 56% of the adult population has been “fully vaccinated” and 67% has gotten at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.
States that tend to vote Republican have reported lower vaccination rates, and polls show Republican voters are far more likely than Democrats to say they will not or likely will not get the vaccine. The issue has become part of a larger debate over public health measures colliding with Americans’ personal freedoms.
Asked by anchor Brianna Keilar if the administration was considering more aggressive measures to get more people vaccinated, Becerra claimed he wanted people to have “as much freedom and choice as possible.”
“We want to give people the sense that they have the freedom to choose. But we hope they choose to live,” Becerra said. “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.”
Citing concerns over the ‘Delta variant’ of the virus, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said this week the door-to-door push is designed to inform people in less vaccinated pockets of the country about where to get the shot and address their concerns about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, she said, adding that it’s not up to the federal government to mandate vaccines.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich expressed “great alarm” at President Joe Biden’s plan to send teams door-to-door to promote the vaccine to hesitant Americans.
Brnovich sent a letter to the White House in which he slammed Biden for suggesting that the White House may have obtained the medical records of unvaccinated Americans.
“I, along with many Arizonans, was greatly alarmed by your White House indicating it might be in possession of medical records revealing the contact information of Americans who have not been vaccinated. If this is the case, this is a severe breach of privacy, and I will not tolerate such intrusions within Arizona,” Brnovich wrote.
“Americans trust medical researchers and their family doctors to provide information and recommendations to make personal decisions but they do not trust government intrusion or the politicization of the health care process,” Brnovich continued.
“If Americans are on the fence about taking the COVID-19 vaccine, it would be most inappropriate for bureaucrats to single them out – regardless of motives or intentions.”
The number of vaccine related deaths in 2021 has reached nearly 7,000 in the U.S. with more than 410,000 reporting adverse reactions to the vaccine.
Author: Tyler Simmons