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“I WOULD HAVE TO TALK TO THE PRESIDENT”
by Sharon Rondeau
(May 28, 2020) — During Thursday’s White House press briefing, a reporter pressed White House Press Secretary Kelleigh McEnany as to whether or not the Trump administration intends to order every American to be vaccinated against the coronavirus if and when a vaccine is made available.
Once McEnany made her opening remarks, she invited journalists’ questions, but the camera did not pivot in their direction. The question arose at the 21:05 mark from a reporter McEnany addressed as “Paula.”
“On vaccines, in order to achieve ‘herd’ immunity, you need about 80% of people to get this vaccine. Currently only about 50% of Americans say they’ll receive it, so will the administration make the vaccine mandatory?”
In response, McEnany made it clear that a vaccine is not yet available but the administration hopes that will change “by the end of the year.” “Everything does not depend on a vaccine,” she added, invoking “therapeutics” and referring the reporter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar.
“…if you guys will make it mandatory, use your federal powers, how you’ll use them, potentially, to encourage people to get this vaccine, because if you don’t have herd immunity, elderly people, compromised folks, they may not be able to go about their business again,” the reporter pressed.
In response, McEnany said, “l would have to talk to the president; I haven’t talked to him about his views on making it mandatory or not, so I’d have to talk to him and get back to you on that.”