Public/Global Health

Chris Christie: Unvaccinated people don’t want to be ‘indoctrinated’ by government

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) advised officials working to convince unvaccinated Americans to receive a coronavirus inoculation to focus on explaining the facts about vaccines rather than mandates. 

“The vaccines do work,” Christie said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “Every focus group I’ve been in, Republicans who are not vaccinated, you have to walk them through the logic of this.” 

Christie added that vaccine-hesitant Americans “don’t want to be indoctrinated.”

“They’re willing to be vaccinated,” he added.

The former governor of New Jersey said leaders in the U.S. have “fallen down” in their messaging campaign on vaccinations.

“They’re just saying, ‘Get vaccinated,’ ” he said. 

The Republican said he recently spent time with a conservative friend who he said told him that he doesn’t “want the government telling me what I have to do.”

“These folks do not respond to be ordered to do those things. It’s a sort of libertarian response to this,” Christie said. “I walked him through the facts of this and he said, ‘OK, I’m going to go get vaccinated.’ That’s what we need to do.”

With the highly contagious delta variant now spreading through the United States and daily coronavirus cases across the country rising, public health officials say a lack of vaccinations among hesitant or unwilling Americans is driving the surge.

Recent polling finds nearly 30 percent of Republicans say they won’t get vaccinated, sparking several prominent conservative politicians and media figures to publicly announce they have received a shot and urging others to do so.

The White House is facing new pressure to mandate people who work in public schools or universities to get a vaccine as students prepare to return in the fall.

Christie contracted the coronavirus and was hospitalized late last year, and he later said he was wrong for not wearing a mask in public before being vaccinated.

Tags Chris Christie Chris Christie United States responses to the COVID-19 pandemic Vaccination Vaccine hesitancy
See all Hill.TV See all Video