White House press secretary Jen Psaki evaded a question Tuesday from Daily Caller White House correspondent Shelby Talcott about the disproportionate impact of vaccine mandates.
“It’s our objective to continue to close that equity gap, and to make sure we are, as a federal government, working in partnership with states like New York, cities like New York City, to make sure we are making the vaccine accessible, available,” Psaki said at her Tuesday press briefing when Talcott asked if the White House is concerned about the burden of mandates falling heaviest on minority communities. “We certainly don’t want this to be a barrier of entry for communities.”
Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday the city would be imposing a vaccine mandate in order for residents to enter certain indoor facilities such as gyms, restaurants and performance venues. Talcott pointed out to Psaki the disproportionate impact this would have on communities of color, which have lower vaccination rates than white New Yorkers.
“We also believe, at a time where the Delta variant is spreading like wildfire across the country, especially to unvaccinated communities, that it’s important cities and communities should be able to take steps to incentivize more people getting vaccinated,” Psaki added. (RELATED: Cuomo Touts Pandemic Response During Press Briefing On Sexual Misconduct)
In New York City, 71% of Asian Americans and 46% of white Americans are fully vaccinated, compared to just 42% of Hispanic Americans and 31% of black Americans. Nationwide, ethnicity data is only known for about half of vaccine recipients, but among that sample, the share of white Americans fully vaccinated is 4.5% higher than Hispanic Americans and 8.5% higher than black Americans.