By C. Mitchell Shaw
On July 6, the Biden administration announced that the federal government will start a door-to-door campaign to boost the number of Americans who have been vaccinated against COVID-19. In a White House press conference, the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue addressed Americans who have not received the experimental vaccines, saying, “Do it now.”
Biden said that people will be “knocking on doors” to get “help to the remaining people” who have not been vaccinated. He also said, “We’re intensifying efforts to meet people out where they are” and that the teams sent out by the White House will be made up of officials from the CDC, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and other federal health agencies.
Despite the federal arm-twisting, many Americans will refuse to get vaccinated. But don’t expect the Nanny State to be content with a “no.” The government is determined to get every American vaccinated, one way or another — “voluntarily” or otherwise.
“Every Single Person”
The Biden administration’s implementation of a door-to-door plan is at least partially due to the fact that the White House missed its self-imposed deadline to have 70 percent of American adults at least partially vaccinated by July 4. Granted, it did not miss that goal by much: According to CDC data, more than 67 percent of American adults have received at least one shot. But Biden’s administration will press on to that goal and beyond. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, “You don’t just give up just because you haven’t reached every single person.”
The implication is clear: The full weight of the Biden administration will be used to pressure and cajole people into getting the shots. That he made his announcement the day after the long Independence Day weekend is an example of both cruel irony and this administration’s absolute disconnect from logic, reason, and the founding principles of America. It reads more than a little like, “Now that you have had your July 4 celebration, fall back in line, do what you’re told, and get the shot.” As Biden said, “Do it now.” And just to put the Red, White, and Blue wrapping on it, he added, “It’s the patriotic thing to do.”
This writer will perhaps be forgiven if he declines to take advice on patriotism from the likes of Joe Biden.
Though the White House has been conspicuously scant with details, Psaki said the plan would include “door-to-door outreach to get remaining Americans vaccinated” and that the “outreach” would be “targeted by community.” The “targeted” part of that comes in where Psaki said that the administration will first focus on communities with lower vaccination rates.
Lists and Mandates?
This, of course, raises at least two important points. First, it indicates that — far from only having general data onnumbersof people who have been vaccinated — the government has specific information including demographics and location information. This smacks of a list of who has (and conversely, who has not) been vaccinated.
And while it may seem (and would, in fact, be) extreme for the federal government to maintain a database of the vaccination status of Americans, keep in mind that this is the same government that already illegally harvests the browsing histories, phone calls, texts, maps, calendars, and more on every American who does not take technological steps to prevent that data-harvesting. This latest violation would not even cause them to stop and think.
Furthermore, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra made it clear during a July 8 appearance on CNN that the federal government does not care about your privacy where this is concerned. He told CNN’s New Day, “The federal government has spent trillions of dollars to keep Americans alive during this pandemic. So it is absolutely the government’s business [to know who is vaccinated.] It is taxpayers’ business if we have to continue to spend money.”
The second important point is that such a list could easily be used for making COVID vaccinations mandatory. How else could the Biden regime hope to get this vaccine into the bloodstreams of “every single person” in the United States?
And, to put in the for-what-it’s-worth column, the push for mandating vaccinations would not necessarilyhave to come directly from Washington. Mandates may not even require that the experimental vaccines receive full FDA approval.
On July 11, Dr. Anthony Fauci — whose title is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, but whose role is essentially High Priest of the Religion of Bogus Science — appeared on CNN. In that appearance, Fauci said he believes that “at the local level” “there should be more mandates.” He went on to say, “There really should be. We’re talking about [a] life and death situation.” Fauci said he believes the “hesitancy” among states, counties, and cities for putting vaccine mandates in place is caused by the fact that “the vaccines have not been officially, fully approved.” [Emphasis in original.] But, says Fauci, that is a small matter that should be overlooked. Invoking the power of his office as High Priest of the Religion of Bogus Science, Fauci said, “People need to understand that the amount of data right now that shows a high degree of effectiveness and a high degree of safety is more than we’ve ever seen with emergency-use authorization.”
Trust us, we’re experts: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra told CNN that “it is absolutely the government’s business” to know who is and who is not vaccinated.
So, Fauci would have vaccines mandated by law and would have people accept — as an article of faith — that even without FDA approval, the vaccines are both safe and effective. This is a tactic used in sales and negotiations of all types: Ask for something completely ridiculous and when rebuffed, back down to something only mildly ridiculous by comparison. Here the tactic appears to be for the Biden regime to push for localmandates beforeFDA approval of the vaccines and when the people (and some states) push back, have the FDA approve the shots. Then the Biden regime can mandate them at the federal level.
The Pentagon has already indicated that this is the direction the military will take. Though soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines have been cajoled into getting the shots “voluntarily,” with the result being that all military branches boast high numbers of vaccinated members compared to the public at large, the powers-that-be want more. The Pentagon has now announced that it is taking steps to mandate vaccines for all military personnel, without waiting for FDA approval.
Moving Toward Mandates
So, while Fauci pushes for local mandates even without FDA approval, the Pentagon is mandating the shots for military personnel. Pause and let that sink in: Military personnel will be required to get an experimental vaccine that has not been approved by the FDA and Fauci plans the same for the rest of us. The reality for average Americans — as it plays out — will likely be a little of both: Some states (mostly blue) may move toward an “emergency power” to require vaccines for people to shop, dine, go to work, or otherwise live their lives, likely even requiring a “vaccine passport” as proof of compliance; other states will likely refuse to do so. At some point, the Biden regime may push the FDA to accept the Faucian Decree of the “high degree of effectiveness and a high degree of safety” of these vaccines and approve them. Then, the federal government would feel the need to strip Americans of their liberty to say “no.” The Biden regime is already moving to mandate vaccines for all federal employees, and the Department of Justice — in a clear overreach of authority — has declared that such mandates are legal. Were the FDA to approve COVID vaccines, it would be a short step for the Biden regime to mandate vaccines for all Americans. At that point, vaccine “passports” would almost certainly be on the table.
Fauci’s hope of “local mandates” is bolstered by the existence of an incestuous relationship between the federal government and state governments. Too often, states do for the federal government what the federal government is either prohibited from doing or would find simply too difficult to do. We already see that playing out with this plan. Several states have launched their own programs to go door-to-door asking private citizens about their vaccination status.
Details vary from state to state, with some sending out local volunteers made up of church leaders or other civic groups, while others are sending out county and state health-department employees. In most states, the door-knockers ask about whether people have been vaccinated and provide information on how to get vaccinated, but at least one county in North Carolina has gone way beyond merely asking questions.
Mecklenburg County — where Charlotte is located — has launched “Doses to Doors” to administer shots on the spot. A flyer circulated to promote the program states, “Mecklenburg County Public Health will be offering COVID-19 vaccinations in the neighborhood at no cost. Ages 12+ for Pfizer, and 18+ for Johnson & Johnson.” Local media have given the program positive coverage, helping to boost its success. And while this is a local program that hides behind the veneer of the authority of local health officials simply making vaccines available, it is a short hop from this to mandating the same thing. And North Carolina Democratic Governor Roy Cooper is not one bit above doing just that. His state had some of the harshest COVID restrictions in the South.
But even setting mandates aside, there are some real problems with Biden’s door-to-door vaccine plan. First and foremost is the lack of anything in the U.S. Constitution authorizing anything like this. It is also a clear violation of privacy and a likely violation of HIPAA (a federal law protecting the medical information of Americans), and it sets a dangerous pre-cedent.
As constitutional lawyer and founder of the Rutherford Institute John W. Whitehead writes in his July 14 piece in the Augusta Free Press,“These door-to-door ‘visits’ by COVID-19 surge response teams certainly qualify as a government program whose purpose, while seemingly benign, raises significant constitutional concerns.”
Whitehead enumerates those “significant constitutional concerns,” and lists as the first one “the visit itself,” writing, “While government agents can approach, speak to and even question citizens without violating the Fourth Amendment, Americans have a right not to answer questions or even speak with a government agent.” But, as Whitehead points out, “The reality is far different.” A government official (or a private citizenempowered by a government official) showing up at your door can, as Whitehead puts it, create a situation where “individuals caught unaware by these tactics” will “feel pressured in the heat of the moment to comply.” It feels like pressure because it is pressure.
And this is not hypothetical: Logan County, Oklahoma, Sheriff Damon Devereaux told Oklahoma City NBC affiliate KFOR, “I’ve had an unusual amount of people calling asking, ‘Hey what do I do if these health people show up on my property and start asking me questions?’” He added that some residents are concerned about being pressured into answering questions about their vaccine status. Dev-ereaux went on to say, “The way that it’s been described from D.C. is strike forces,” adding, “To me, that doesn’t sound like your local church members going door to door.” Devereaux says he is there to help any resident of Logan County who feels unsafe with COVID brigade door-knockers, saying, “If somebody won’t leave, you call us and we will educate them on the trespass laws of the state of Oklahoma.”
So, Whitehead’s point about the implication of government force is already playing out in the real world.
Privacy violation: The very presence of government officials — or “community volunteers” authorized by government officials — on your front porch asking nosy medical questions may create a situation where you feel pressured to comply and may violate HIPAA, a federal law that protects private medical data. (Photo credit: Maksim Shchur/ iStock / Getty Images Plus)
Whitehead also notes that “there is always the danger that this program could be used for other, more nefarious, purposes not related to vaccination encouragement.” On that note, Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) tweeted, “The Biden Administration wants to knock on your door to see if you’re vaccinated. What’s next? Knocking on your door to see if you own a gun?” Given the Biden regime’s naked anti-gun position and the very nature of precedence, that is not a far-flung idea. Precedent could be set and then expanded. After all, isn’t it common for liberals of all stripes to refer to “gun violence” as an “epidemic” and a “healthcare issue” when pushing for legislation to ban the ownership of some or all types of firearms?
As to expanding a precedent, Whitehead points out that “there is the question of how the government plans to use the information it obtains during these knock-and-talk visits.” Again, right now — while there is no mandate — they will just be asking about your vaccination status. But do you believe — even for a moment — that your negative answer to that question will not be logged and wind up in a database? If there is a mandate in the future, those who are not vaccinated could reasonably expect another — less pleasant — visit from officials. And having government officials come to your door asking personal questions about your medical decisions could also violate HIPAA. Granted, if answering the question is voluntary, then asking the question might notviolate HIPAA, but, going back to Whitehead’s point about “individuals caught unaware by these tactics” feeling “pressured in the heat of the moment to comply,” it is worth noting that pressure and voluntary behavior can be (and usually are) mutually exclusive.
Liberty vs. Tyranny
As Whitehead demonstrates in his Augusta Free Press article, there is a dictatorial mindset that drives the thinking behind the push to pressure or even force COVID vaccines. He writes:
What started out as an apparent effort to prevent a novel coronavirus from sickening the nation (and the world) has become yet another means by which world governments (including our own) can expand their powers, abuse their authority, and further oppress their constituents.
To illustrate that mindset, Whitehead quotes liberal attorney Alan Dershowitz — who, as “a former Harvard law professor,” Whitehead says, “should know better” — as saying, “You have no right not to be vaccinated, you have no right not to wear a mask, you have no right to open up your business…. And if you refuse to be vaccinated, the state has the power to literally take you to a doctor’s office and plunge a needle into your arm.”
And that may well be a future phase of the Biden regime’s plan. But for now, how do Americans best handle Biden’s door-knockers when they come?
What to Do When They Knock
The good news is that you have several options. First, place “No Trespassing” and “No Soliciting” signs on your property. This allows you to simply ignore them, as if you assume they are selling something or asking for signatures on a petition. You have the right not to answer your door — period.
Alternatively, if you do answer the door, you have the right not to answer their questions. This is a point Sheriff Richard Mack — long known for his “Constitutional Sheriff” positions — makes. Be polite, don’t answer the door armed, and simply refuse to answer any questions. Then, Mack suggests, tell them to leave. This writer would simply state, “As per my understanding of HIPAA, I am not comfortable answering questions about my medical decisions to anyone other than my doctor.”
They will likely interpret that as an admission that I am not vaccinated, but that would be their assumption, not my statement. If they press, I would simply repeat my statement about HIPAA and tell them they are trespassing. Sheriff Mack says if they will not leave, call your sheriff or the police and report them as trespassing. This echos Sheriff Devereaux’s statement that, “If somebody won’t leave, you call us and we will educate them on the trespass laws.”
Of course, what is ridiculous — even if it is expected under the Biden regime — is that Americans (who should enjoy a birthright of liberty) even have to stop and think about how to handle having the COVID Cops knock on their doors to ask nosy medical questions.
C. Mitchell Shaw, a freelance writer, is a strong advocate of both the free market and privacy. He addresses a wide range of issues related to the U.S. Constitution and liberty.