To get around the public health dilemma, the Biden administration has adopted a more aggressive political position to cast conservative critics of its Covid-19 vaccination campaign as extreme and dangerous.
After Republican legislators and conservative activists pledged to oppose the White House’s plans to “door-to door” in an effort to raise vaccination rates, the White House decided to respond more strongly to misinformation and scare tactics. This will include exposing social media platforms and conservative news stations that encourage such tactics.
“The big misinterpretation that Fox News or whomever else is saying is that they are essentially envisioning a bunch of federal workers knocking on your door, telling you you’ve got to do something that you don’t want to do,” Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser, said in an interview on Sunday. “That’s absolutely not the case, it’s trusted messengers who are part of the community doing that — not government officials. So that’s where I think the disconnect is.”
Fauci used some of the messaging to broadcast Sunday cable news programs, including underscoring that door-to–door vaccination efforts are an effort to remove barriers to entry and that 99.5 percent of deaths from Covid occur among those who are not vaccinated.
“Those data kind of hits you right between the eyes,” Fauci said of the fatalities.
Jen Psaki, Jen’s press secretary, has attacked Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican Rep. who she had previously said she wouldn’t mention from the podium. Taylor Greene once compared the administration’s vaccine campaign with Nazis. Jeff Zients, White House’s Covid Response Director, refuted Republican Missouri Governor. Mike Parson falsely claimed in a tweet, that government agents were going door to door to “compel vaccination”.
Biden-allied groups, such as the Democratic National Committee and Biden Associates, plan to engage fact-checkers aggressively and work closely with SMS carriers in dispelling misinformation about vaccines sent via social media and text messages. This is to make it easier for people who might have trouble getting vaccinated due to transportation issues.
“We are steadfastly committed to keeping politics out of the effort to get every American vaccinated so that we can save lives and help our economy further recover,” White House spokesperson Kevin Munoz said. “When we see deliberate efforts to spread misinformation, we view that as an impediment to the country’s public health and will not shy away from calling that out.”
The pushback is a change of tone and approach from earlier this year, when the White House often chose to ignore its most vocal conservative critics out of a desire not to elevate them. It is a tacit acknowledgment that the July 4 goal of 70 percent vaccination nationwide was overly optimistic, if not naive. And it underscores that two realities are setting in: It’s becoming more difficult to convince vaccine-skeptics to get their shots (of the 10 least vaccinated states, all were won by Donald Trump in 2020) and the anti-vaccine voices, already vocal in the country, are becoming more mainstream by Republicans eager to oppose Biden-led initiatives.