As the media continues to corner Republicans on the issue of vaccines, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest refused say that President Obama endorsed the idea of federal vaccination mandates.
“He was clear that we don’t need a new law, we need people to exercise common sense,” Earnest said.
Although Earnest was repeatedly pressed on the issue by White House reporters, he refused to give a yes or no answer on the idea of a federal mandate.
“I think what the president is saying, we shouldn’t have to — that the science is clear, and it is irresponsible for people to not get their children vaccinated,” he said, adding that he had a chance to discuss the issue with the president before the White House press briefing.
Earnest explained that vaccination mandates were more of a state or local issue noting a “variety” of different laws.
He also defended Obama’s history of cutting federal programs focused on public vaccinations, pointing out that that thanks to Obamacare, vaccinations were now free to the general public.
“This is a great example of how the Affordable Care Act is actually cutting costs — not just for families and businesses across the country, but also for the federal government,” he said.