Reporter Urges Biden to ‘Scold the Unvaccinated’ - Yahoo News

Politico White House reporter Daniel Lippman quizzed White House press secretary Jen Psaki on why President Biden isn't "focused more on kind of scolding the unvaccinated to try to tell them 'hey this is not working for society'," comparing Biden unfavorably to French president Emmanuel Macron during a briefing on Wednesday afternoon.

Psaki responded by citing the overall decrease in vaccine hesitancy since last December and by stating the administration's intention "to continue to convey to the American people that getting vaccinated will help protect them from hospitalization, from death — it will help protect their loved ones."

Contrary to the premise of the question, the president's rhetoric over the last several months has been rather strident. In a December address, Biden warned that "for the unvaccinated, we are looking at a winter of severe illness and death for the unvaccinated — for themselves, their families and the hospitals they'l l soon overwhelm."

Before that, in a speech delivered on September 9, the president professed to be "frustrated" with the unvaccinated population, before alleging that they "were leaving no room for someone with a heart attack, or pancreatitis, or cancer" in hospitals around the country.

And Biden's rhetoric is outpaced by his administration's behavior. Through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Biden is forcing employers of more than 100 to mandate vaccines or institute an arduous testing regime for the unvaccinated. More strict still was an order that health care facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid require their workers be fully vaccinated, potentially leading to the firing of some health care workers who have been on the front lines of the pandemic for the better part of two years.

While the coronavirus vaccines had initially appeared to mitigate the spread of the virus, the advent of the omicron variant has rendered t hem much less effective in this respect.

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That said, the health outcomes for vaccinated individuals continue to be much better than their unvaccinated peers. At every age level, vaccinated American die from Covid at a far lower rate than the unvaccinated. Nevertheless, its less tangible effects on transmissibility have led some critics of vaccine mandates to argue that inoculation protects the individual being inoculated, not the larger community. Especially given Omicron's less deadly outcomes as compared to previous iterations of the virus.

It is conceivable that large numbers of unvaccinated individuals suffering from serious illness could overwhelm the hospital system in certain areas of the country.

Psaki argued in her response to Lippman that the administration has sought to "meet people where they are" in trying to persuade them to be inoculated.

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