White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Tuesday that in the newest phase of the push to get people vaccinated against COVID-19, government surrogates will go door-to-door coercing people to take the jab. Later in the afternoon, Biden delivered remarks about vaccine distribution and the drive to get the public vaccinated.
Coerce is my word, not Jen’s but the meaning is clear. You will get vaccinated and you will like it. Ever since I heard the plan, it’s been hard to shake the feeling that this should be a much bigger story than it is right now. While conservative media are reporting on it as the bone-headed overreach it is, liberal media is reporting on Biden’s plan like it’s no big deal. It’s as though we are to believe that this is perfectly normal behavior. It’s not normal, not at all, and people should be very alarmed whether they are vaccinated or not.
That’s the thing that struck me – the arrogance of the announcement. How dare the press secretary deliver this plan as though it shouldn’t be questioned. As Psaki merrily began the White House press briefing, she immediately launched into Biden’s upcoming COVID-19 Response Team briefing he would be receiving that afternoon. She said he would deliver remarks after the briefing. Then she went through five areas he would focus on for wider vaccine distribution in his remarks.
One: targeted, community-by-community, door-to-door outreach to get remaining Americans vaccinated by ensuring they have the information they need on how both safe and accessible the vaccine is.
Two: a renewed emphasis on getting the vaccines to more primary care doctors and physicians — something that we’ve seen as a very successful tactic with reaching groups with lower vaccination rates in the past few months.
Three: stepped-up efforts, which is complementary to my last point, to get vaccines to pediatricians and other providers who serve younger people so that adolescents age 12 to 18 can get vaccinated as they go for back-to-school checkups or get ready for fall sports.
Four: continue expanding efforts to make the vaccine accessible for workers. Access is an area where we’ve seen as a challenge and one where, as we’ve worked to address it, we’ve seen increasing rates. So that includes setting up vaccination clinics at workplaces and PTO or time — leave that employees can take off to get vaccinated.
And finally: expanding our mobile clinic efforts, meeting people where they are, and making sure we’re taking the vaccine to communities.
The very first thing she mentioned was the “community-by-community, door-to-door outreach”. That should cause a shudder to run through your spine. Since when do we have government surrogates go door to door for anything, other than census workers? Remember when Beto O’Rourke thought he was going to be president and boldly declared that he would have people going door-to-door to collect your guns? There was a huge outcry, mostly from conservatives, and rightly so. That’s not what a free country does. Can you imagine if any Republican president made a statement about sending people door-to-door, especially the last Republican president?
All of the other points of the plan that Psaki ticked off are fine and should absolutely be executed to give access to vaccines. It’s kind of surprising that more of it isn’t already being done – more mobile clinics at workplaces, for example, as more people are going back to office settings. More vaccines distributed to primary care doctors and physicians is a no-brainer, as supplies allow. It’s the door-to-door malarkey that is so very wrong. It conjures up some bad Nazi-like images. And, it raises some questions.
How would the surrogates going into communities and neighborhoods know who has and has not been vaccinated? Are personal medical records being breached in order for this outreach to be conducted? Will there be random people contracted to do this door-to-door work walking around with clipboards and the personal medical information of everyday Americans? And why does the Biden administration think they can force people to get vaccinations they do not want? This is a personal decision. If a person wants to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, they will do it.
This kind of talk and the administration trying to normalize it exposes the worst part of the government’s reaction to the coronavirus pandemic. The authoritarian behavior embraced by elected officials, especially Democrats, has been on full display. Major cities, mostly controlled by Democrats, have been slow to lift restrictions and mandates. They don’t want to give up power over the little people. That is what the Biden administration’s arrogance looks like. Did no one think that making such a decision as to send the press secretary and then the president out to deliver a five-point plan that included going door-to-door was a bad move? Apparently not.
The Washington Post dutifully reported on Biden’s speech. They report that the push is due to the Delta variant and how quickly it spreads. There was not a word written out of concern over the escalation from Team Biden to pressure people to get vaccinated. There was no questioning about the tactics.
In remarks from the White House, the president pointed to increased concerns over the delta variant of the coronavirus, which is more transmissible and has forced some European countries back into lockdowns, as he reiterated his exhortation that Americans get the vaccine.
“Our fight against this virus is not over,” Biden said. “Right now, as I speak to you, millions of Americans are still unvaccinated and unprotected. And because of that, their communities are at risk, their friends are at risk. The people that they care about are at risk.”
Biden’s tone was if anything more urgent than previously, as the country faces potential infection spikes in the fall. Standing in front of a backdrop that declared “We can do this,” Biden sounded alternately like a salesman (“it’s never been easier”), a supplicant (“please, please get vaccinated”) and an Army recruiter (“it’s a patriotic thing to do”).
He stressed that the immunization drive is moving into a new phase, with mass vaccination sites closing down and an intensified focus on daily destinations, from offices to churches to festivals to pharmacies, so people can get shots when they are “just going in to get toothpaste or something else you need from a drugstore.”
Note to Joe: lots of pharmacies already offer the vaccines. So do grocery stores with in-store pharmacies, at least here in my city. Anyone old enough to qualify for a vaccination can just walk in and get one in most of those places. I hope smaller cities and more rural communities will provide the same convenient service. My son got both of his doses at Randall’s (Safeway).
“I’m from the government and I’m here to help” usually never ends well, especially with conservatives. The Washington Post article didn’t question Biden’s tactics but it was sure to report that Fox News Channel didn’t carry Biden’s speech. The irony is rich. While touting CNN and MSNBC for carrying it, they must have conveniently forgotten all the times that those two cable networks didn’t bother to carry White House briefings with Trump and his coronavirus task force. Those cable networks proudly boasted that they wouldn’t carry Trump’s remarks and didn’t. Spare us the indignation now that Biden gets the same treatment from FNC.
If anyone wants to be vaccinated, they will do it. Big Brother Joe Biden isn’t likely to change minds now at this point.
BIDEN: “We need to go community-by-community, neighborhood-by-neighborhood, and oft times door-to-door, literally knocking on doors” to get people vaccinated. pic.twitter.com/oJ2lG9bqaw
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) July 6, 2021