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On Thursday, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra declared it was “absolutely the government’s business” to know whether Americans have been vaccinated.
Becerra was responding to fears generated by President Joe Biden’s vow Tuesday that his new drive to get wary Americans jabbed would be “literally knocking on doors.”
“It is absolutely the government’s business, it is taxpayers’ business, if we have to continue to spend money to try to keep people from contracting COVID and helping reopen the economy,” Becerra told CNN, adding the government has had to “spend trillions of dollars to try to keep Americans alive during this pandemic.”
A day later, he clarified: “Government has no database tracking who is vaccinated,” he tweeted. But too many will only hear his earlier remarks implying that the feds have every right to track such info, simply because it’s spending so much taxpayer money on the COVID fight.
Yes, virtually all adults should get jabbed, and government outreach to encourage it is warranted. But the various hesitant groups, all across the political and socioeconomic spectrums, often have reasons for their doubts — and rash, morally entitled Big Brother remarks by a top official that feed paranoia are a major setback.
A year and a half into COVID, no public-health official has any excuse for straying off-message by venting his foolish fury.
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