Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has raised concerns over the Biden administration’s plan to send agents to the homes of unvaccinated Americans to promote Covid-19 jabs, saying such a program could violate privacy rights.
The door-to-door campaign, which was announced on Tuesday by President Joe Biden, immediately raised fears that people will be forced to receive the vaccines, which haven’t received full FDA approval. Some conservatives raised the specter of Nazi-like government overreach, with US Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) alluding to “medical brown shirts” and Florida congressional candidate Lavern Spicer referring to “Joe Biden’s Gestapo.”
Brnovich’s concern focused on the implication that the administration has gathered information on the vaccination status of individual Americans and will use that data to target those who haven’t gotten Covid-19 shots.
Biden, who missed his goal of having 70% of adults inoculated with at least their first vaccine dose by July 4, said the government will need to go “neighborhood by neighborhood” and “oftentimes, door to door, literally knocking on doors” to get more people protected against the virus. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the door-to-door outreach only aims to “get remaining Americans vaccinated by ensuring they have the information they need on how both safe and accessible the vaccine is.”
To the Arizona AG, those comments suggested that the administration may be infringing privacy rights. “I, along with many Arizonians, was greatly alarmed by your White House indicating that it might be in possession of medical records revealing the contact information for Americans who have not been vaccinated,” Brnovich said in a letter to Biden. “If this is the case, this is a severe breach of privacy, and I will not tolerate such intrusions within Arizona.”
While Americans trust medical researchers and their family doctors to provide information to help make their vaccination decisions, Brnovich added, “they do not trust government intrusion or the politicization of the healthcare process.”
If Americans are on the fence about the Covid-19 vaccine, it would be inappropriate for bureaucrats to single them out, regardless of motives or intentions.
Psaki tried to allay fears of forced vaccinations on Wednesday, but she didn’t directly address the potential privacy issue. “What we’re doing is, local officials are going to areas where there are lower vaccination rates and providing information on where people can get access to a vaccine, where they can go, that it’s free, that they can take time off of work,” she told reporters. “It’s up to individuals to decide whether they want to get vaccinated or not.”
Brnovich is running for the Senate and has sued the Biden administration over border policies, pushing back against what he sees as federal overreach.