According to Press Secretary Jen Psaki, the White House does not believe that it is its place to blame unvaccinated individuals for the current spike in coronavirus cases being seen across the United States.
Psaki was recently asked what President Joe Biden’s attitude is toward the increase in vaccine hesitancy after Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, who is a Republican, blamed unvaccinated people for the rise in COVID cases and the spread of the Delta variant.
“I don’t think our role is to place blame,” Psaki went on to tell reporters Friday. “But what we can do is provide accurate information to people who are not yet vaccinated about the risks they are incurring, not only on themselves but also the people around them.”
Psaki specifically referenced young people who think they are “immune” to the virus. Their demographic is partly responsible for the administration’s plateaued vaccination rate.
“You can get very sick, you can die from the virus. You can also make your grandparents sick and your parents sick,” she went on to say. “We’re not here to place blame or threats. We’re here to provide accurate information.”
But Psaki did not answer a question regarding whether it was time for the federal government to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations.
Psaki’s comments contrast with Biden’s claim last week that Facebook was responsible for “killing people” by permitting users to share misinformation about vaccinations. Biden did walk back his remarks after Facebook alleged the White House was “looking for scapegoats” after missing its target of administering at least one shot to 70% of adults.
“Facebook isn’t killing people,” the president said while chatting with reporters. “These 12 people are out there giving misinformation, anyone listening to it is getting hurt by it. It’s killing people. It’s bad information. My hope is that Facebook, instead of taking it personally … that they would do something.”
Alabama is currently the least vaccinated state in the country, with less than 34 percent of its citizens having taken the vaccine. Ivey, the governor, ended their mask mandate back in April.
“Folks are supposed to have common sense. But it’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down,” Ivey said while speaking with the press.