Alarm bells went off and loudly on Tuesday after White House press secretary Jen Psaki and then later President Biden announced a federal “door-to-door outreach” campaign to get more people vaccinated against the Wuhan coronavirus.
“The President will outline five areas his team is focused on to get more Americans vaccinated,” Psaki stated during yesterday’s press briefing. “One: targeted, community-by-community, door-to-door outreach to get remaining Americans vaccinated by ensuring they have the information they need on how both safe and accessible the vaccine is,” she continued.
“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 during a speech on the progress of his administration’s vaccination goals.
The FYI from the Biden administration yesterday on the “outreach” program rubbed Sen. Rand Paul, one of the more prominent critics of the government’s response to the pandemic, the wrong way. He responded accordingly with some solid advice:
The gov't doesn't decide who gets vaccinated. You do.
Do not submit to the fearmongers. https://t.co/NDCRUE3wCV
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) July 7, 2021
As usual, he was right on the mark. Short, sweet, and to the point.
Obviously, this was a troubling announcement for a number of reasons, many of them outlined by my colleagues in prior posts. For starters, how will they know who has and has not gotten the vaccine? Will they be operating off of a database or will they demand to know your vaccine status and that of your family members upon knocking on your door?
While it’s unclear as to whether or not there is any national database with the names of people who have been vaccinated, as my colleague Nick Arama noted, she’s heard stories from people who went to the doctor and who were told by their physician before they’d said the first word about it that they knew their patient had been vaccinated. From where is this information being obtained? How widely is it being shared?
The approach announced yesterday reminded some folks of all the talk from failed Senate/presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke during the Democratic presidential primary campaign in 2019 about how police could be paying a visit to homes of people who did not comply with his gun control plan if implemented, which involved banning more weapons:
Whoever suggested that the best way to reach remaining vaccine skeptics was to talk about going door to door should be fired immediately.
It's the Beto O'Rourke of vaccine outreach. https://t.co/VdvhJIwLl4
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) July 6, 2021
As far as I’m concerned, anything (beyond perhaps Census outreach) that involves anyone from the government going door to door to encourage or demand compliance is terrifying. For that reason, I think the vaccine outreach program is likely to backfire, as most people – even those more inclined to abide by government dictates without question – don’t take too kindly to the government getting a little too personal when it comes to their personal choices – and especially their health status.