White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that anti-vaccine mandate protests in Washington, D.C., were “dangerous” and stood “in the way against a coordinated effort to save more American lives.”
Over 30,000 people took to the streets of the nation’s capital Sunday for the “Defeat the Mandates: An American Homecoming” march to protest “draconian COVID-19 requirements.” Protesters called for an end to vaccine mandates.
A reporter asked Psaki on Monday how the administration planned to respond to the protests.
“Just yesterday in D.C., not far from here actually, there was an anti-mask, anti-lockdown rally where some of the rhetoric around that was talking about Nuremberg style trials to holding Anthony Fauci to account, to going after the media for spreading lies, things like that,” the reporter said. “I was wondering how the administration is going to respond to what appears to be a growing intensity and potential violence in the anti-vax movement?”
“We are well aware that there is a loud and vocal minority empowered through social media and media platforms that proliferate misinformation, politicians who espouse conspiracy theories and fundraise off opposition to public health, we know that,” Psaki replied. “We also know that 87% of American adults have at least one shot, that’s the vast, vast majority and over 210 million Americans are fully vaccinated. So our view is that it’s wrong, it’s dangerous and it stands in the way against a coordinated effort to save more American lives.”
Psaki was then asked whether the administration feels like it is “losing the war when it comes to the messaging on the importance of these types of public health measures, like getting vaccinated.”
“Again, our view is that it is a loud and vocal minority but still dangerous, still problematic. The fact that 87% of American adults, all of those people of course did not mathematically vote for Joe Biden, had at least one shot, means we’ve far surpassed where I think most people think we should be. It’s difficult and challenging of course to get more people vaccinated, we know that. And of course, efforts that are dangerous and wrong by groups like this are problematic as is the spread of misinformation on social media platforms,” Psaki said.