After failing to meet his administration’s goal of getting Americans to receive at least partial COVID–19 vaccinations, President Joe Biden proposed going door to door to encourage people to get vaccinated. While Texans have expressed their disapproval of this idea, Gov. Greg Abbott has been silent.
The Biden–Harris administration set a goal of having 70 percent of Americans receive at least a partial COVID–19 vaccination by July 4. They missed their goal by 3 percentage points.
On July 6, Biden discussed how the administration “is going to devote the remainder of the summer to special focus on five ways to make gains in getting those of you who are unvaccinated, vaccinated.” He added the administration will be shifting from “centralized mass vaccination sites.”
“We’re going to be putting even more emphasis on getting vaccinated in your community, close to home, conveniently, at a location you’re already familiar with,” he said.
Now we need to go community by community, neighborhood by neighborhood, and oftentimes door to door, literally knocking on doors, to get help to the remaining people protected from the virus.
He said the point is ensuring communities hit hard by the Chinese coronavirus “have the information and the access to get vaccinated.”
Earlier that day, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki described Biden’s plan to increase vaccinations as follows:
Targeted, community-by-community, door-to-door outreach to get remaining Americans vaccinated by ensuring they have the information they need on how both safe and accessible the vaccine is.
Psaki said the other four parts of the plan include a “renewed emphasis” to get COVID–19 vaccines to more primary care physicians, “stepped up efforts” to get vaccines to pediatricians and providers who serve “younger people,” making vaccinations more accessible for employees, and expanding mobile clinic efforts.
Texans expressed their disapproval of the door-to-door plan.
“Americans have universal access to the vaccine,” Jackie Schlegel, executive director of Texans for Vaccine Choice, stated. “If they want it, they can get it. We don’t need Joe Biden knocking on our door. That’s just creepy.”
“That’s a huge invasion of privacy and yes, creepy,” posted Tracy McCain.
“I don’t answer my door when strangers knock,” said Amie Childers.
“Don’t come to my door or on my property,” wrote Elizabeth Anne.
“We don’t have a [government]. We have tyranny,” stated Stephanie Dorr.
Another citizen asked how the federal government would know who has or hasn’t received a COVID–19 vaccination.
Texas Scorecard sent an inquiry to the office of Gov. Greg Abbott asking for a response to the Biden–Harris administration’s latest vaccination plan. No response was received before publication time.
In its regular session this year, the Texas Legislature passed—and Abbott signed—a prohibition on requiring customers to show proof of vaccination. However, there is no restriction on employers mandating the vaccination as a condition of employment, as was seen with Houston Methodist Hospital’s termination of employees who refused to vaccinate. The attorney representing many of these employees called for Abbott to have the Texas Legislature address employer mandates in a special session; this call was echoed by Abbott’s rivals in the 2022 Republican primary for governor (Allen West, Don Huffines, and Chad Prather).
Abbott recently unveiled his agenda for the first of multiple special sessions he’s expected to call this year. Nothing regarding vaccines or individual medical rights was on legislators’ to-do lists.