Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra declared that "it is absolutely the government's business" to know the COVID-19 vaccination status of Americans. Becerra made the proclamation on Thursday morning during an appearance on CNN's "New Day."
After President Joe Biden's administration announced it was implementing a door-to-door effort to encourage more Americans to get vaccinated, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) reacted to the news by saying, "It's NONE of the government's business knowing who has or hasn't been vaccinated."
Becerra was asked about the remark made by Biggs, and he argued that it is the government's business.
"The federal government has spent trillions of dollars to try and keep Americans alive during this pandemic," Becerra said. "So it is absolutely the government's business, it is taxpayers' business, if we have to continue to spend money to try and keep people from contracting COVID."
Becerra defended the Biden administration's plan to carry out "door-to-door outreach to get remaining Americans vaccinated."
"Knocking on a door has never been against the law, you don't have to answer," Becerra said. "But we hope you do, because if you do we can hopefully help dispel some of those rumors that you've heard and hopefully get you vaccinated."
Becerra was then asked about declining vaccination rates and the potential for implementing vaccine requirements. The HHS chief said that decision would be left up to governors, mayors, and county supervisors to "determine how best to approach people in their neighborhoods."
CNN anchor Brianna Keilar asked Becerra if the Biden administration would push for more restrictions against unvaccinated Americans, such as vaccine passports.
"We want to give people the sense that they have the freedom to choose. But we hope they choose to live," Becerra replied. "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."
"If you want to stay alive, if you're going to contract COVID and you want to stay alive, the best chance would be if you're vaccinated," Becerra stated.
@XavierBecerra Becerra: “We want to give people the sense that they have the freedom to choose. But we hope they ch… https://t.co/aNpfCE4pay— Tom Elliott (@Tom Elliott)1625749328.0
President Joe Biden pushed for people to get vaccinated on Tuesday and revealed that the administration is prepared to encourage Americans to get vaccinated, even if it means knocking on their front doors.
"Now we need to go to community by community, neighborhood by neighborhood, and oftentimes door to door— literally knocking on doors to get help to the remaining people protected from the virus," Biden said.
"It's never been easier, and it's never been more important," Biden said of getting coronavirus vaccinations. "Do it now for yourself and the people you care about, for your neighborhood, for your country. It sounds corny, but it's a patriotic thing to do."
"Look, equity, equality, it remains at the heart of our responsibility of ensuring the communities that have been hardest hit by the virus, have the information and the access to get vaccinated," Biden continued. "So, as we shift from these centralized mass vaccination sites, we're doing thousands of people a day, we're going to access close to your community, close to home, conveniently, and location you're already familiar with."
President Biden failed to meet his goal of having at least 70% of U.S. adults vaccinated by July 4. As of July 7, a total of 157,908,171 Americans had been fully vaccinated, or 47.6% of the country's population, according to the CDC's data. There are 67% who have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Biden Announces Door-to-Door Outreach to Boost Vaccinations www.youtube.com