Story at a glance

  • Following Fauci’s comments calling for more local vaccine mandates, Jen Psaki said the Biden administration won’t issue broader federal mandates.
  • This follows South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster’s pushback against vaccine outreach campaigns.
  • The CDC says 67.7 percent of American adults have had at least one COVID-19 shot.

The Biden administration plans to support local municipalities in their efforts to regulate COVID-19 vaccine administration and distribution, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed on Monday.

Speaking during a press conference, Psaki addressed White House COVID-19 Advisor Anthony Fauci’s recent comments saying he believes there should be more vaccine mandates at a local level to reduce vaccine hesitancy and continue to roll out doses. 

When asked about Biden’s thoughts on Fauci’s comments, Psaki said that the president will leave local regulations to community leaders rather than broader federal mandates. 

“That's not a decision that we're making..that is not our intention from the federal government…should they decide that is how to keep their community safe.”


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She noted that multiple private sectors, including universities, businesses and educational institutions, will all be making individual public health and safety decisions. Psaki noted that if local leaders elect to make their own decisions surrounding public health in their municipality, including vaccination policies, the Biden administration will support them.

Fauci had stressed the need for local vaccine mandates with Jake Tapper on CNN.

“I have been of this opinion and I remain of that opinion that I do believe at the local level...there should be more mandates, there really should be,” he said over the weekend. “We’re talking about life and death situation [sic].”

Meanwhile, some states have pushed back on the federal government’s campaign to vaccinate America, most recently with South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) working to halt the Biden administration’s “door-to-door” vaccine outreach program. The program would focus on community liaisons as volunteers to answer questions about COVID-19 vaccines in a bid to increase vaccinations among some states. 

McMaster argued that the plan constitutes federal overreach. He called on the state’s health department to block these efforts.

“A South Carolinian’s decision to get vaccinated is a personal one for them to make,” he tweeted last week. “Enticing, coercing, intimidating, mandating, or pressuring anyone to take the vaccine is a bad policy which will deteriorate the public’s trust and confidence in the State’s vaccination efforts.”

Per data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 67.7 percent of American adults have had at least one COVID-19 shot. 


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Published on Jul 12, 2021