Jen Psaki had the perfect response to a GOP governor's attacks on Biden's vaccination campaign
This week, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster accused President Joe Biden of being heavy-handed in his efforts to promote COVID-19 vaccination — saying that he opposed Biden's idea of people going door to door to offer information on vaccines. But when White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki spoke during a news conference on Friday, she forcefully pushed back against McMaster's claim that Biden is trying to bully Americans into getting vaccinated.
In a letter to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, McMaster wrote, "A South Carolinian's decision to get vaccinated is a personal one for them to make and not the government's. Enticing, coercing, intimidating, mandating, or pressuring anyone to take the vaccine is a bad policy which will deteriorate the public's trust and confidence in the state's vaccination efforts."
McMaster, in his letter, called for a statewide prohibition of the door-to-door method that Biden is recommending. And Psaki, during the news conference, told reporters that there is nothing heavy-handed about Biden's methods — stressing that the president is trying to save lives, not bully anyone.
Psaki: The failure to provide accurate public health information including the efficacy of vaccines and the accessi… https://t.co/oEtGzboFql— Acyn (@Acyn) 1625851600.0
Psaki explained, "The failure to provide accurate health information, including the efficacy of vaccines and the accessibility of them, to people across the country — including South Carolina — is literally killing people. So, maybe they should consider that. But I would say that what this is and what it is not — this is not federal employees going door to door. This is grass roots volunteers; this is members of the clergy. These are volunteers who believe that people across the country, especially in low-vaccinated areas, should have accurate information — should have information about where they can get vaccinated, where they can save their own lives and their neighbor's lives and their family member's lives."
In South Carolina, only 49% of residents have been at least partially vaccinated for COVID-19. Nationally, according to NPR, the number is 67% — although some blue states are higher than that. For example, Massachusetts, a blue state with a moderate Republican governor (Charlie Baker), has a 70% vaccination rate, NPR reports.
The White House press secretary went on to say that in areas with low vaccination rates, door-to-door efforts have had a positive effect.
"It is something that we will continue to work with local groups to do," Psaki told reporters. "And it is a disservice to the country and to the people who may lose their lives, who may lose family members, to provide inaccurate disinformation at a moment where we're still fighting a pandemic.
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