White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday President Joe Biden would support vaccine mandates if they are implemented by local governments.
“Does President Biden agree with Dr. Fauci that at the local level there should be more vaccine mandates?”, a Fox News reporter asked White House press secretary Jen Psaki, supplementing his question with a quote from Dr. Anthony Fauci, who said, “I remain of that opinion, that I do believe at the local level, there should be more mandates. There really should be.”
Psaki answered that the federal government is not in charge of local government vaccine mandates, but if a municipality decides to burdens their residents with mandates, the White House would support them.
“That is not our intention from the federal government.” she said, but if local governments “decide to make that [mandate] decision, we support them in that step.”
The Fox News reporter then pointed to March 11, when Biden said to “listen to Dr. Fauci” in all aspects of coronavirus vaccines.
“Is he [Biden] saying don’t listen to Dr. Fauci?” Fox News reporter pressed.
Psaki responded by first chuckling and smiling before saying “welcome back” to the reporter, noting that “decision[s] are made by local leaders on how they can keep their community safe.”
The White House’s position on not interfering in local government rules comes as Fauci said Sunday on CNN he believes the coronavirus “is serious business. So I am in favor of that [local vaccine mandates].”
“Why are we having red states and places in the South that are very highly ideological in one way not wanting to get vaccinations? Vaccinations have nothing to do with politics,” Fauci continued.
“It’s a public health issue. It doesn’t matter who you are. The virus doesn’t know whether you’re a Democrat, a Republican or an independent,” Fauci explained. “And yet there is that divide of people wanting to get vaccinated and not wanting to get vaccinated, which is really unfortunate, because it’s losing lives.”
Biden said on March 11 that Americans should “Listen to Dr. Fauci, one of the most distinguished and trusted voices in the world. He has assured us the vaccines are safe.”