When questioned about the Biden administration’s divergent COVID-19 vaccination policy on Monday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was subdued.
What is the history?
Due to his lack of a COVID-19 vaccination, tennis legend Novak Djokovic declared this week that he would not participate in this year’s U.S. Open.
Non-citizens of the United States are currently not permitted to travel into the country if they have not had a COVID vaccination.
“Non-U.S. citizens and non-immigrants: Before boarding your aircraft to the United States, you must present documentation proving that you have received the primary series of an authorized COVID-19 vaccination. There are just a few exceptions,” read the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations.
What took place with KJP?
Peter Doocy of Fox News pointed out the obvious during the White House press conference when he questioned why Djokovic couldn’t enter the country for a tennis match yet unvaccinated migrants were welcomed at the southern border.
He questioned, “Why do world-class tennis players have to be immunized to enter this nation, but refugees are not?”
Initially, Jean-Pierre dodged the issue and directed Doocy to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, absolving the White House, which oversees the executive branch and the CDC, of accountability. However, Doocy persisted.
They are two distinct things, declared Jean-Pierre.
“How are they two distinct things?” Pressed doocy. “You declare it unacceptable when a passenger arriving by airline is not immunized. If a person enters Texas or Arizona walking without a vaccination, they are permitted to stay. Why?”
The press secretary went on to say that “that’s not how it works” and that immigrants are not flooding the southern border of the United States.
It’s not like someone just strolls over; that’s not how it works. Doocy interrupted before Jean-Pierre could finish.
“Exactly what you described is occurring!” Doocy retaliated. “Every day, thousands of people go for walks. Some of them surrender on their own. Tens of thousands every week are not captured, although some are. That is what is taking place.”
Jean-Pierre remained silent at Doocy’s incisive reply. When she did speak, she completely sidestepped Doocy’s question and commended President Joe Biden for what she said were his measures to alleviate the border situation.
Doocy inquired one more time on the CDC vaccination mandate for travelers arriving by air as opposed to land entry, and Jean-Pierre diverted the conversation toward Title 42 before shifting to the following reporter.
For what it’s worth, Title 42 allows the government to deny entrance to migrants in order to stem the spread of illness but does not require that they receive the COVID vaccine.