The Biden administration is continuing its drive to make unvaccinated Americans second-class citizens with a six-step plan designed to focus mostly on those who have not done as the Biden administration has ordered.
At Wednesday’s news conference, White House press secretary Jen Psaki foreshadowed a speech Thursday evening by President Joe Biden on the subject of COVID-19.
A reporter asked whether Biden’s new proposals would impact the day-to-day lives of average Americans.
“It depends on if you’re vaccinated or not,” Psaki said.
She said there were “six steps the president is announcing. There will be new components, as I noted and you noted. Some of that will be related to access to testing. Some will be related to mandates. Some will be related to how we ensure kids are protected in schools.”
Psaki said “there will be new components that, sure, will of course impact people across the country. But we’re also all working together to get the virus under control, to return to our normal lives.”
The press secretary also indicated that the Biden administration, which has supported employers who impose vaccine mandates, might have more to say on that score too.
“We also believe that the private sector has a role here, and you’ll hear more from the president on that as well,” she said, according to a White House transcript.
During a meeting with reporters on Tuesday, Psaki had said private-sector pressure can help force Americans to get vaccinated.
“I will note that we’ve seen that there are a range of ways that we have increased vaccinations across the country — or vaccinations have increased, I should say. One of them is private sector companies mandating, in different capacities, that their employees get vaccinated, or certain school districts mandate,” she said, according to a White House transcript.
A report in The New York Times that did not name its sources said Biden will “impose new vaccination mandates as part of a broad plan to put pressure on private businesses, federal agencies and schools to enact stricter vaccination and testing policies.”
Some were already objecting to what they expect Biden to propose.
One commentator said Biden needs to show he is in control of the virus, and not the other way around.
“He ran on competence, bringing adults back into the room,” said Nick Rathod, an adviser to former President Barack Obama. “This is something that he needs to take control of and show his level of competency. I think that’s why he was hired.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 72.5 percent of Americans 12 and older have had at least one dose of vaccine and 61.7 percent are fully vaccinated, with the percentages varying widely by state.
Correction: An earlier version of this story had an incorrect figure for the percentage of fully vaccinated Americans.