The internet’s eternal record has come back to bite U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky following President Joe Biden’s announcement of vaccine mandates after Walensky previously stated that there would be no nationwide mandate.
Walensky’s now moot promise came on July 30, 2021, when she tweeted to clarify a statement she made in a Fox News interview.
“To clarify: There will be no nationwide mandate. I was referring to mandates by private institutions and portions of the federal government. There will be no federal mandate,” Walensky tweeted.
The truth, however, appears to lie in the Fox interview that she sought to clarify from the same day.
.@BerkeleyJr To clarify: There will be no nationwide mandate. I was referring to mandates by private institutions and portions of the federal government. There will be no federal mandate.
— Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH (@CDCDirector) July 30, 2021
“Are you for mandating a vaccine on a federal level,” a Fox News interviewer asked Walensky.
“That’s something that I think the administration is looking into,” the CDC director replied.
It took just 41 days for the Biden administration and the CDC to go from “no nationwide mandate” to Biden’s six-pronged approach to force Americans to get vaccinated.
The president announced new federal vaccine mandates on Thursday for all federal workers and some private sector and health care employees, impacting as many as 100 million Americans, according to Reuters.
The sweeping mandates require that all employers with more than 100 workers impose vaccine or weekly tests requirements, which Reuters estimates will affect about 80 million Americans.
The 17 million workers at health facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid, employees of the executive branch and contractors who do business with the federal government will be required to get the vaccine with no option to test out, Reuters reported.
In that same July Fox News interview, Walensky claimed to understand both perspectives in the federal vaccine mandate debate.
“I completely understand the pushback,” the CDC director said, adding, “this is not unlike … other vaccines that are mandated. So I understand both perspectives in that story.”
Biden’s thorough six-prong plan aims to vaccinate the unvaccinated; provide more protection for the vaccinated; keep schools open; increase testing and mask requirements; protect economic recovery and improve care for those being treated with COVID-19.
The vaccine remains the most effective way to combat death by coronavirus, but doubts over its efficacy are growing.
According to the CDC, more than 177 million Americans are fully vaccinated and over 208 million have received at least one dose. However, daily cases are growing by about 140,000 on average with about 1,000 deaths per day.
This week, the New York Times reported that the chances of contracting a breakthrough case of COVID-19 are about one in 5,000 per day, and even lower for people who take precautions or live in a highly vaccinated community.
The government is expected to focus next on promoting booster shots for the fully vaccinated. The booster will be recommended about eight months after the second dose of the two-dose vaccines.
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