‘…we need to make it clear to [Americans] that the vaccine is the ticket back to pre-pandemic life. … all these states are reopening. They are reopening at 100 percent. 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? Biden… needs to… say, “If you’re 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.”
By Daily Wire News•Apr 2, 2021 DailyWire.com
Dr. Leana Wen, the former head of Planned Parenthood, told CNN during a segment last month that a “very narrow window” existed for the Biden administration “to tie reopening policy to vaccination status,” warning that as states were reopening that people may not get vaccinated because they would go out and start enjoying their freedoms.
TRANSCRIPT PROVIDED VIA CNN:
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: So, the idea of ‘No, you still shouldn’t travel even with the vaccine,’ do you think that’s the right call?
DR. LEANA WEN, FORMER HEAD OF PLANNED PARENTHOOD: I do not. Look, I do understand the situation that the CDC is in. They want to be cautious. And I do have sympathy for that. They don’t want to over- promise initially, and then have to dial it back. But I also think that there is a cost to saying things that don’t meet the common sense test. Air travel, for example, alone is very low risk, when everybody’s wearing masks. And if somebody is vaccinated, that risk is lower still. The risk actually I would be concerned about unvaccinated people who are traveling, going on spring break, going to lots of bars, and hanging out and spreading it to one another. I’m not concerned about the vaccinated grandparent, who’s traveling across the country, just to spend time with their extended family. And I think that kind of nuance really needs to be spelled out, or else, it’s not going to make sense to people and not meet the reality test.
CUOMO: So, you have messaging here being balanced with risk, because as you’ve laid out to me, earlier today, on the radio show, which is why it’s so important for me to have you here tonight, to echo it, to this audience, we’re in a race, you say, and that people, we won’t always have less supply than we do demand that we’re going to have to motivate people to want this vaccine. And it may not be as easy as people suspect. What do you believe that race is, the variables are, and what the messaging should be?
WEN: My main concern is that we’re not going to reach herd immunity because of vaccine hesitancy. And I know that’s hard for a lot of people to believe, who desperately want the vaccine right now. And they’re thinking, “Oh, well, it’s just a small percentage of people, who are actually anti-vaxxers.” And that’s true. There is the anti-science, anti-vaxxer contingent. But I think that there are many more people, millions of people who, for whatever reason, have concerns about the vaccine, who just don’t know what’s in it for them. And we need to make it clear to them that the vaccine is the ticket back to pre-pandemic life. And the window to do that is really narrowing. I mean, you were mentioning, Chris, about how all these states are reopening. They are reopening at 100 percent. 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’re 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. And I fear a situation of coming into the fall, where we never reach herd immunity, and then we get hit by the next surge of COVID-19, in the fall, something that we could have prevented, if we just got people vaccinated now.
CUOMO: Thank you, Dr. Leana Wen. Appreciate it.