CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen warned the Biden administration that they have a very “narrow window” for inoculating as many people as they can to COVID-19 as states begin lifting coronavirus restrictions, urging that messaging should tie vaccinations to Americans’ “freedoms.”
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Wen, the former president of Planned Parenthood, joined CNN host Chris Cuomo during a March 10 interview and emphasized the importance of making it “clear” to anyone apprehensive about taking the vaccine “that the vaccine is the ticket to pre-pandemic life.”
“The window to do that is really narrowing,” Wen continued. “You were mentioning, Chris, about how all these states are reopening. They’re reopening at 100%. And we have a very narrow window to tie reopening policy to vaccination status.”
“Because otherwise, if everything is reopened, then what’s the carrot going to be? How are we going to incentivize people to actually get the vaccine? So that’s why I think the CDC and the Biden administration needs to come out a lot bolder and say, ‘If you are vaccinated, you can do all these things. Here are all these freedoms that you have.’ Because otherwise, people are going to go out and enjoy these freedoms anyway.'”
Wen added, “I fear a situation of coming into the fall, where we never reach heard immunity, and then we get hit by the next surge of COVID-19…something that we could have prevented if we just got people vaccinated now.”
Dr. Leana Wen on March 10: “The CDC and the Biden administration needs to come out a lot bolder and say ‘If you are… https://t.co/fnt7I4Pklr
— Washington Examiner (@Washington Examiner)1617327106.0
The Biden administration has faced criticism from both the right and left for providing little incentive to those who are apprehensive about taking COVID-19 vaccines from doing so.
In February, conservative co-host of “The View” Meghan McCain called for the replacement of Dr. Anthony Fauci over his refusal to say that elderly Americans would be able to see their grandchildren in accordance with government guidance even after being fully vaccinated against the disease.
Following her own criticism of former President Donald Trump for his handling of the crisis, McCain went on to say, “We’re in the Biden administration and I, for one, would like something to look forward to and to hope for. Because if getting the vaccine means that just nothing changes and we have to wait another few years until everyone gets it — there’s already people not getting it and we’re already having a messaging problem getting people to take this vaccine.”
This week, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said that she is “scared” and fears “impending doom” over the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases spiking in some states, but stressed that data “suggest that vaccinated people do not carry the virus.”
Walensky urged the public to “just hold on a little longer, get vaccinated when you can, so that all of those people that we all love will still be here when this pandemic ends.”