Washington (CNN)The way some Republican lawmakers tell it, the federal government is coming door-to-door to create a registry of the unvaccinated and force people to receive one of the Covid-19 vaccines.
On July 6, President Joe Biden announced five areas his administration would focus on to get Americans vaccinated, including community outreach efforts, signaling a shift away from mass vaccination sites and toward a more localized strategy.
“Now we need to go to community by community,” Biden said, “neighborhood by neighborhood, and oftentimes, door to door — literally knocking on doors — to get help to the remaining people protected from the virus.”
Ignoring the specifics of Biden’s actual plan, some Republicans latched on to the President’s “door-to-door” quote to make a variety of misleading comparisons.
Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert tweeted that Biden had “deployed his Needle Nazis” to her district, while Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan implied that Biden’s proposed community outreach was merely a precursor for more government oversight, tweeting, “The Biden Administration wants to knock on your door to see if you’re vaccinated. What’s next? Knocking on your door to see if you own a gun?”
While the administration has worked to clarify Biden’s remarks in the wake of these criticisms, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra caused more confusion during an interview with CNN on July 8, when he responded to criticism of Biden’s community outreach plan, saying it was the government’s business to know who hasn’t been vaccinated and that knocking on doors is not illegal.
Despite Becerra tweeting that his remarks had been taken “wildly out of context” and clarification from the White House, Republican lawmakers have continued to push misleading narratives about the vaccine community outreach efforts.
Freshman Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina suggested on Friday, during an interview at the Conservative Political Action Conference’s summer gathering in Texas, that Biden may use the strategy to later take away people’s guns and Bibles.
“And now they’re starting to talk about going door-to-door to be able to take vaccines to the people,” Cawthorn said. “Think about the mechanisms they would have to build to be able to actually execute that m
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