North Carolina Republican Madison Cawthorn has said the Biden administration’s plan for expanded vaccination information could be used to take people’s guns and Bibles.
In an interview on Friday with conservative news outlet Right Side Broadcasting Network at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Texas, Representative Cawthorn said: “Now, they’re starting to talk about going door to door to be able to take vaccines to the people,” referring to President Joe Biden’s comments earlier this week.
“Here’s the deal: we are continuing to wind down the mass vaccination sites that did so much in the spring to rapidly vaccinate those eager to get their first shot – and their second shot, for that matter, if they needed a second,” Mr Biden said.
“Now we need to go to community by community, neighbourhood by neighbourhood, and oftentimes, door to door – literally knocking on doors – to get help to the remaining people protected from the virus,” the president added.
Mr Cawthorn said at CPAC: “Think about the mechanisms they would have to build to be able to actually execute that massive of a thing.
“And then think about what those mechanisms could be used for. They could then go door to door and take your guns. They could go door to door and take your Bibles.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki clarified that the administration is urging volunteers at a local level rather than federal employees to go knock on doors to get more people to get vaccinated.
But despite this, Republican leaders have pushed back hard on the suggestion.
South Carolina Republican Governor Henry McMaster wrote a letter to the state’s Board of Health and Environmental Control on Friday, asking that it “issue direction to agency leadership and to state and local healthcare organisations prohibiting the use of the Biden Administration’s ‘targeted’ ‘door-to-door’ tactics in the State’s ongoing vaccination efforts”.
Mr McMaster wrote that “enticing, coercing, intimidating, mandating, or pressuring” residents to get immunised would weaken trust in the government.
White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients blasted misinformation about the Biden administration’s vaccination efforts, saying it’s a “disservice to the country and to the doctors, the faith leaders, community leaders and others who are working to get people vaccinated, save lives and help end this pandemic”.
Ms Psaki pushed back on Mr McMaster, saying on Friday: “The failure to provide accurate public health information including the efficacy of vaccines and the accessibility of them to people across the country, including South Carolina, is literally killing people.”
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