White House press secretary Jen Psaki appeared to blame the number of unvaccinated Americans for the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During his presidential bid, Biden made it a campaign promise to “shut down the virus,” then called former President Donald Trump’s travel restrictions against China “xenophobic.”
“What ever happened to President [Joe] Biden’s promise to shut down the virus?” Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy asked Wednesday.
“We’re working on it, Peter,” Psaki said.
“There’s another variant here, is the idea that you want people to wrap their heads around that the president, instead of shutting down the virus, is gonna try to help people amidst the virus?” Doocy continued.
DOOCY: “What ever happened to President Biden’s promise to shut down the virus?”
PSAKI: “We’re working on it, Peter.”
“We need the American people to do more,” she continued. pic.twitter.com/W4FdUseocY
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) December 1, 2021
Psaki responded that in order to go back to normal life, they need at least 20 percent of the American population to receive the COVID vaccine and the booster shot. (RELATED: Psaki Says Biden Was Criticizing ‘Xenophobic’ Tweet From Trump, Not Travel Restrictions)
“What we can do, as the federal government, is make those vaccines free, make the boosters free, make them available. The president will talk more about what we’re going to do tomorrow,” Psaki said. “But we need the American people to do more, who are not vaccinated to help us continue to fight the virus.”
According to a CDC report, 59% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, while 21% have received a booster shot.
The Omicron variant was recently discovered in South Africa, prompting the Biden administration to implement travel restrictions on South Africa and Botswana. The first known case of the variant was identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday, just days after Dr. Angelique Coetzee, chair of the South African Medical Association, warned that the variant has already reached the U.S.
In a Monday address, Biden urged the public to receive the vaccine and booster shots, arguing that it is the most effective way for people to be protected against the virus. He vowed to fight against the newly identified variant while urging people not to panic.