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Reporter Urges Biden to ‘Scold the Unvaccinated’

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White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C., January 5, 2022. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Politico White House reporter Daniel Lippman quizzed White House press secretary Jen Psaki on why President Biden isn’t “focused more on kind of scolding the unvaccinated to try to tell them ‘hey this is not working for society’,” comparing Biden unfavorably to French president Emmanuel Macron during a briefing on Wednesday afternoon.

Psaki responded by citing the overall decrease in vaccine hesitancy since last December and by stating the administration’s intention “to continue to convey to the American people that getting vaccinated will help protect them from hospitalization, from death — it will help protect their loved ones.”

Contrary to the premise of the question, the president’s rhetoric over the last several months has been rather strident. In a December address, Biden warned that “for the unvaccinated, we are looking at a winter of severe illness and death for the unvaccinated — for themselves, their families and the hospitals they’ll soon overwhelm.”

Before that, in a speech delivered on September 9, the president professed to be “frustrated” with the unvaccinated population, before alleging that they “were leaving no room for someone with a heart attack, or pancreatitis, or cancer” in hospitals around the country.

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