During the White House briefing on Friday, press secretary Jen Psaki said "there are some forces against us" to get Americans vaccinated, referring to Republicans who've taken a stand against vaccination requirements.
- Germany has decided that unvaccinated people should not be allowed to go into public places. That may be a great way to incentivize people to be vaccinated. Let's assume that would not fly in this country. Let me ask this. The serious part of the question really is, there seems to be, no matter what, just 27%, 30% of the eligible population that refuses to be vaccinated for a variety of reasons, let's say.
JEN PSAKI: It's a little lower than that. I mean, more than 82% of people have received their first dose.
- But what makes the president think that this new winter initiative of trying to get people to get vaccinated-- what makes him feel confident that that's going to work on those people who absolutely refuse to be vaccinated?
JEN PSAKI: Well first, we know it works. I would remind you that almost a year ago, only about 30% of eligible adults in this country felt open to getting vaccinated. Now more than 82% have received one at least one dose. That is clearly not on partisan lines because you know how divided our country can be.
Those are people who took a step to protect themselves, to protect their neighbors, to protect their loved ones. I'd also note that we saw-- I just gave you some data on the vaccination rate from just yesterday, the highest we have seen since May. And we know that vaccinations are what can save lives. But also it's important to continue to build our testing and masking capacity. That's what we also announced yesterday. So I would just say we know it works.
We also know what's standing in the way. And you're right. There are things that we can't change. For reasons I will never begin to understand, some members of the Republican Party have decided that their political platform is going to be running in favor of protecting people from getting vaccinated or from getting tested. That's why some people tried to shut down the government. As crazy as that sounds, people hear that, they hear misinformation traveling on social media.
Those are all entities we're fighting, but you're right. There are some forces against us.
- The president threw up his hands.
JEN PSAKI: Never. You can't do that as president. Go ahead.
- Just a real.