After the Biden administration failed to meet its target of vaccinating 70 percent of Americans by July 4, the president suggested he may turn to drastic measures to boost vaccination rates, including sending people “door-to-door — literally knocking on doors.” The remark earned swift criticism. Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Texas) tweeted, “BIG red flags anytime the federal government is ‘going door to door.'” His colleague, Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) agreed that federal door-to-door visits are “only really contemplated in Constitution for the census.” Despite the criticism, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki reiterated the White House’s focus on “targeted community door-to-door outreach” as one strategy for combating the coronavirus. The White House has a tin ear for the concerns of private citizens.
One concern regards the right to privacy, specifically “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches,” per the Fourth Amendment. Federal law strictly protects access to medical history — like vaccinations — a fact abortion activists exploit by claiming that the decision to abort should be kept between a woman and her doctor (the difference is that abortion is not healthcare). But abortion activist Xavier Becerra, Biden’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, insisted today that knowing whether a person has been vaccinated for COVID is “absolutely the government’s business.” Why the double standard?
Related to privacy, Americans could face retaliation if the government forced them to disclose their vaccination status, and it was leaked. The Supreme Court just struck down a California law (formerly championed by Xavier Becerra), in part due to concerns over retaliation from leaked confidential information. “The Left is now politicizing this issue of the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), so a door-to-door campaign could lead to intimidation or worse. Norman warned “there appears to be [studies] targeting of Republican males” for their lower vaccination rates. The mafia, too, was known for its “targeted community door-to-door outreach” — and baseball bats.
To date, Psaki and Biden have insisted that the door-to-door outreach is purely to spread information. In mellow tones, they laugh off conservative warnings about mandatory vaccine targeting, just like the Left laughed off conservative warnings of CRT in schools and of transgender ideology following gay marriage, following legalization of homosexual behavior. See the pattern?
President Biden’s latest policy flub demonstrates his misunderstanding of Americans’ relationship to their government that led to the vaccination shortfall in the first place. As Norman said, Biden believes “the government is our keeper.” He believes vaccination rates are low because people don’t know they should get vaccinated. He expects people to get the vaccine simply because the government tells them to. Biden does not expect Americans to act rationally and make their own decisions, so he feels no need to persuade them with reasoned arguments. There’s no other way to explain Biden’s pathetic rhetoric like, “It sounds corny, but it’s a patriotic thing to do.”
But this is America, where people are free to make their own decisions for themselves and their families. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) explained, “The burden is on [Biden and Harris] to make sure people understand these vaccines are safe.” Ever since his vaccine skepticism in September 2020, Biden has failed to fulfill the burden of moral suasion Americans expect from a president. For instance, the president could end the public transportation mask mandate for vaccinated people. What won’t persuade Americans — particularly conservatives — to get the vaccine is federal intimidation tactics. When Biden’s persuasion campaign without persuasion fails, what more draconian tactics will he turn to?
EDITORS NOTE: This FRC column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.