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Tipsheet

KJP's Advertising of COVID-19 Vaccine Is Truly Bizarre

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

The Biden administration had had quite the penchant of not just promoting the latest COVID-19 booster shots, but of doing so through fear-mongering and partisan talking points. The administration even threatened people's jobs and livelihoods if they didn't get the vaccine. Earlier this week, Dr. Anthony Fauci was present at Tuesday's White House press briefing where he also promoted the vaccine, which as Spencer highlighted at the time. erupted in chaos. That's not the most recent or even necessarily memorable way that the White House has harangued people into getting vaccinated.

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On Friday morning, as part of a Black Friday tweet which promoted "self-care" and "tak[ing] care of yourself this holiday season, White House Press Secretary Kaine Jean-Pierre tweeted from the official Press Secretary account for people to get their "updated COVID and flu vaccines."

President Joe Biden himself received the latest COVID vaccine late last month, his fifth, during which he too engaged in that fear-mongering, including when it comes to those who choose not to get the vaccine or the latest boosters. 

"Here’s the bottom line: Virtually every COVID death in America is preventable--virtually every one," Biden claimed in his remarks. "Almost everyone who will die from COVID this year will not be up to date on their shots or they will not have taken Paxlovid when they got sick."

And, during his time at the podium, on Tuesday, Dr. Fauci had been asked what his most difficult moment of the pandemic was. His response entailed going after the unvaccinated.

"So, when I see people in this country, because of the divisiveness in our country, not getting vaccinated for reasons that have nothing to do with public health but have to do because of divisiveness and ideological differences, as a physician, it pains me because I don’t want to see anybody get infected, I don’t want to see anybody hospitalized, and I don’t want to see anybody die from COVID," he offered. 

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The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) considers people up to date on their COVID vaccines "if you have completed a COVID-19 vaccine primary series and received the most recent booster dose recommended for you by CDC."  

A report from NBC News in late September, shortly after the release of bivalent boosters, showed that an estimated 3.6 percent of the eligible population had received those shots. 

According to the CDC, as of November 17, just 13.1 percent of the population over 18 years old has received the bivalent booster. Even among those 65 and older, that number is at 29.6 percent. 

Despite such claims and even demonization about the unvaccinated from this administration, that narrative isn't quite accurate. As Katie highlighted on Wednesday, data from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) showed that a majority of people who died in August from COVID were fully vaccinated.

The Washington Post's McKenzie Beard also picked up on such data, with her headline currently declaring "Covid is no longer mainly a pandemic of the unvaccinated. Here’s why." As archived versions of the webpage show, the original title was "Vaccinated people now make up a majority of covid deaths."

Other headlines aren't very helpful to the White House's narrative. They include:

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What attention the press secretary's tweet got with replies and quoted retweets were, for the most part, people taking issue with what they saw as such a ridiculous suggestion. Many also pointed to how it came off as if Jean-Pierre was shilling for pharmaceutical companies. 

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