As American enthusiasm for the COVID-19 vaccine slows, left-wing groups affiliated with President Joe Biden are searching for aggressive ways to get more vaccines into the arms of Americans.
The Democrat National Committee (DNC) intends to work with cellular service providers to prevent the person-to-person spread of vaccine misinformation over text messages, Politico reported. Biden-affiliated groups also intend to work with fact-checkers to suppress speech sent over digital platforms expressing vaccine hesitancy or skepticism.
The DNC intending to “work with SMS carriers to dispel misinformation about vaccines” echoes controversy from early in the COVID-19 pandemic when tech companies partnered with the CDC to conduct contract tracing after individuals were exposed to COVID.
Prominent conservatives in Congress spoke out against the potential of having text messages monitored:
Biden’s regime has announced they’ll be working with SMS providers to stop vaccine “misinformation” spread via text messages.
This is on the same day the White House said they support local officials who implement mandatory vaccines.
No wonder they can’t condemn Communism.
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) July 12, 2021
So now the Biden Administration wants to get into people’s text messages … to force vaccine compliance and who knows what else https://t.co/Q1v1qkOOfB
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) July 13, 2021
The Biden–Harris administration intended to have 70 percent of the American population vaccinated by July 4. This goal was not met, and the administration finds it increasingly difficult to convince people skeptical of the vaccine to get it.
The White House floated the possibility of sending people door-to-door to assist with the national vaccine effort.
The president announced the strategy in a July 6 press conference, saying, “we need to go to community by community, neighborhood by neighborhood, and oftentimes, door to door — literally knocking on doors — to get help to the remaining people protected from the virus.”
Conservative organizations have used the highly controversial policy to send SMS text messages to individuals in order to rally them against the potential of door-to-door vaccination efforts. Turning Point USA sent out one such message suggesting that the administration was forcing Americans to take the COVID vaccine.
Jeffrey Zients, the White House coronavirus coordinator, said that individuals attempting to mischaracterize the nature of the door-to-door vaccination effort are doing a “disservice to the country.”
For several months, social media companies have flagged posts on their platforms that express COVID-19 vaccine skepticism or hesitancy. These tech companies add labels indicating that the posts in question contain “misinformation” and prompt redirection to official stances on the matter.
Despite this, discourse that is not aligned with official stances on COVID-19 is abundant on social media, which is why groups like the DNC want to further restrict what speech is permitted on digital platforms.
White House spokesperson Kevin Munoz said, “When we see deliberate efforts to spread misinformation, we view that as an impediment to the country’s public health and will not shy away from calling that out.”
An Associated Press poll from May showed that the majority of Americans who have not yet received a COVID-19 vaccine do not want one.