During an appearance on CNN Thursday, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said that it is “absolutely the government’s business” to know the vaccination status of Americans.
His comments were made in response to the host’s reading of a tweet by Republican Representative Andy Biggs, who wrote that the government should not survey the population and be privy to know who is and who is not inoculated. “So it is absolutely the government’s business, it is taxpayers’ business, if we have to continue to spend money to try to keep people from contracting COVID and helping reopen the economy,” he said.
Becerra said people didn’t have to answer the door but he hoped they would so officials could “dispel rumors about the vaccine, which has proven to be highly effective in driving down cases, hospitalizations and deaths.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 56% of the adult population has been “fully vaccinated” and 67% has gotten at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.
Asked by anchor Brianna Keilar if the administration was considering more aggressive measures to get more people vaccinated, Becerra hedged, saying he wanted people to have “as much freedom and choice as possible.”
“We want to give people the sense that they have the freedom to choose. But we hope they choose to live,” Becerra said. “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.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: AP NEWS
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