Perhaps it was a senile moment, where President Joe Biden went off script, and undermined the actual policies of his administration. Mr. Biden certainly has had many of them. But perhaps, just perhaps, it was an indication of something more sinister, which will only discourage Americans skeptical of receiving a shot to get one.
On Tuesday, Mr. Biden went further than his press secretary earlier in the day, vowing government officials would be knocking on the doors of the unvaccinated, pleading with them to get their COVID-19 shot.
“We need to go community-by-community, neighborhood-by-neighborhood, and oft times door-to-door, literally knocking on doors” to get people vaccinated, he said in an appearance today outlining his administration’s vaccination policy.
Reporters, of course, weren’t allowed to ask questions – and the policy, as stated by Mr. Biden, raises multiple privacy concerns – first of which is, how will the government know on which doors to knock? Do they have national household-level data on those who have been vaccinated and those who have not? If so, where did they get this information from? Certainly not from polls or surveys, which are anonymous.
Moreover, if there is a national vaccination database, where is this information stored and who oversees it? Could it be hacked? How is it protected from both foreign and domestic adversaries?
What if, those who are unvaccinated, chose to do so because of underlying conditions and their doctor’s recommendation? Does the government have this information? Can the Biden administration decipher between households that have legitimate health concerns and those who are just reluctant to get a vaccination? What about those who contracted the virus and have natural antibodies?
Or will it be random? Democrat operatives moving into pesky red states and communities that voted for former president Donald J. Trump, so they can preach directly to the deplorables about the err of their way and pressure them to get the shot?
The Biden administration has been adamant it’s against COVID-19 passports, saying at the federal level they won’t be administered. In April, Ms. Psaki pledged there “will be no federal vaccinations database,” and that they wouldn’t support a system requiring Americans to carry a COVID-19 vaccine passport, amid privacy concerns.
“Let me be very clear on this. I know there’s been lots of questions,” Ms. Psaki said during the press briefing. “The government is not now, nor will we be, supporting a system that requires Americans to carry a credential.”
Ms. Psaki continued “there will be no federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential.”
“As these tools are being considered by the private and non-private sectors, our interest is very simple from the federal government,” Ms. Psaki added. “Which is, Americans’ privacy and rights should be protected. And so that these systems are not used against people unfairly.”
And yet, today, the Biden administration pledged to go “door-to-door” to meet their vaccination goal of 70% to 90% of the American population with a shot in the arm.
Perhaps, Mr. Biden had a senior moment – or that his speechwriters wanted to convey urgency and movement around an issue that doesn’t reflect the administration’s actual policy.
Whatever the case, more information needs to be disclosed about this potential strategy – for it raises more concerns among those worried about potential vaccination side effects or for those who distrust the government than it does entice them to get a vaccination.