EXCLUSIVE: Conservative House Freedom Caucus rejects President Biden’s latest door-to-door vaccination campaign, denouncing house calls as a “deeply disturbing” violation of American privacy.
Representative Andy Biggs, chairman of the House of Representatives right-wing group with a history of ruffled feathers, leads effort to ask White House to explain “constitutional and statutory authority” to carry coronavirus out the door vaccination campaign and demanding answers on whether the federal government is tracking people’s personal health information.
“Door-to-door vaccine checks on Americans are a blatant abuse of government authority and pure power play by the Biden administration,” Biggs, R-Arizona, said in a statement to Fox News. “The federal government has no right to track Americans’ private health information or intimidate people into getting vaccinated.”
Biggs and 31 other Houser Republicans sent Biden a letter Friday – obtained exclusively by Fox News – demanding responses on the vaccination effort.
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“Your administration’s decision to go door-to-door to compel individuals to receive a COVID-19 vaccine is deeply troubling and violates the privacy of Americans,” GOP lawmakers wrote in the letter first obtained. times by Fox. “The private health information of millions of Americans should never be a matter of concern to the federal government. Americans should be free to make their own health choices.”
The White House has faced backlash from the Tories since Biden presented his plan on Tuesday to increase vaccination rates in America as the country grapples with a wave of more contagious diseases Delta variant virus.
“Now we have to go community by community, neighborhood by neighborhood and often door to door – literally knocking on doors – to get help for the remaining people protected from the virus,” Biden said.
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White House press secretary Jen Psaki also referred to the “door-to-door” effort on Tuesday while listing the five goals of Biden’s COVID response earlier today in his briefing, citing “targeted door-to-door community outreach” to “getting the remaining Americans vaccinated by ensuring they have the information they need about vaccine safety and accessibility.”
The White House had since championed the efforts needed to save lives and sought to dispel any misinformation about the possible overstretching of the government. Psaki said the door-to-door campaign has been running since April and consists of community volunteers – not government bureaucrats – and is targeted in pockets of the country with low immunization rates. She said the government does not track or keep a database of people vaccinated.
“These are grassroots voices across the country. They are not members of the government, they are not federal government employees,” Psaki said at a press briefing Thursday. “They are volunteers, they are members of the clergy, they are voices of trust in the communities who play this role and knock on doors.”
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Community members have been doing this since April and it has been effective, with adult vaccination rates increasing 3% in Alabama and 4.4% in Florida, Psaki said.
After Biden first mentioned the idea of going door-to-door, Republicans in Congress were quick to oppose it.
“How about not knocking on my door. You are not my parents. You are the government,” tweeted Representative Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas. “Make the vaccine available and let people choose. “
“The government now wants to go door-to-door to convince you to get a ‘optional’ vaccine,” wrote Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., Wrote.
Psaki said the criticism was “frustrating” for the administration.
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“When people criticize these tactics, it is a real disservice to the country and to the doctors, religious leaders, community leaders and others who are working to get people vaccinated,” she said. “It’s about saving lives and ending this pandemic.”
Psaki also insisted that the government does not keep records of who has or has not been vaccinated, although it is aware of vaccination rates in different parts of the country.
“The federal government does not have a database on people who have been vaccinated. It is not our role, we do not maintain a database for this purpose and we do not intend to do so,” she declared.
While the government may not know who is vaccinated, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra said Thursday morning on CNN’s “New Day” that it was “absolutely” the concern of the government because of the money it had spent.
“The federal government has spent billions of dollars trying to keep Americans alive during this pandemic. So it is absolutely the government’s business,” Becerra said. “It’s the taxpayer’s business if we’re going to keep spending money trying to stop people from contracting COVID and help reopen the economy. And so it’s our business to try to so that Americans can prosper, Americans can associate freely. “
Regarding any government concerns invading Americans’ privacy, Becerra noted that he would not force anyone to do anything.
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“Knocking on a door has never been against the law,” he said. “You don’t have to answer, but we hope you do because if you haven’t been vaccinated we can help dispel some of these rumors you’ve heard and hopefully get you vaccinated. . “
The vaccine surge comes as the Delta COVID-19[female[feminine is now the likely dominant strain in the United States, surpassing Alpha to account for 51.7% of infections, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Delta variant is the most transmissible strain and is estimated to spread 40-60% more easily than the Alpha variant. The wave of this variant has been of particular concern to health officials in areas with low immunization rates, particularly in the Midwest.
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Meanwhile, Republicans remain more skeptical of getting the shots fired. A Fox News poll in June found that 55% of Republicans polled said they had received the coronavirus vaccine, compared to 78% of Democrats and 59% of independents.
The Biden administration was just short of its July 4 target of having at least 70% of American adults vaccinated at least partially against COVID-19. According to CDC, just over 67% of adults nationwide had received at least one vaccine as of Thursday.
Biggs told Fox News the White House should spend its time focusing on the influx of migrants to the southern border and other issues.
“Instead of meddling in private medical decisions, the Biden administration should focus on the border crisis, soaring inflation and the wave of crime plaguing American cities – all the crises it has created. “Biggs said. “Door-to-door espionage on Americans is another example of the burgeoning state of surveillance by the national government.”
Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer and Alexandria Hein contributed to this report.
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