COVID-19 is showing how resilient it is thanks to the highly contagious Delta variant. While masks are one measure to help stop the spread, vaccines are the main tool to end this pandemic. Now, President Joe Biden wants to incentivize getting vaccinated.
We are not out of the pandemic woods yet, and it’s now all hands on deck. A leaked CDC document detailed just how fluid and dangerous the situation is because of the Delta variant. Before the report hit Twitter timelines via a Washington Post report, Joe Biden kept it a buck and told Americans things looked real spooky again because of the unvaccinated portion of the country.
President Biden revealed a series of new measures to get vaccination numbers up during his passionate plea, including a plan that calls on states and local governments to give “every newly vaccinated American” $100. The Treasury Department also confirmed this latest move in a statement.
The Biden Administration has stopped short of mandating the policy, but States could use funds from the American Rescue Plan to help dish out the payments. The Treasury Department announced it would be teaming up with the Department of Health and Human Services to assist governments in rolling out.
New York City has already kicked off a similar program on Friday (Jul.30) that rewards New Yorkers with $100 when they get vaccinated at city-run vaccination sites. “I think when someone says here’s $100 for you, that’s going to make a big impact,” Mayor Bill De Blasio said on Wednesday (Jul.28).
Going the route of financially incentivizing Americans to get vaccinated shows just how serious this situation is. Speaking with the New York Times, Elisa Sobo, an anthropologist at San Diego State University who studies vaccine hesitancy, says the idea does help in getting those people on the fence about taking a vaccine to get vaccinated. But at the same time pointed out that it could also insult some people and give them the chance to use the idea as an excuse to speak against the vaccine.
“Some people who have until now been on the fence will see $100 as a good reason to get off of it. Some folks will find the offer insulting; others will use it as ‘proof’ that the vaccine is no good.”
Following his election, the Biden Administration lead the charge in the push to get shots in arms, and at the time, things looked promising as doses went out and COVID-19 cases declined. Unfortunately, vaccinations plateaued, and the Delta variant crept in and is now the dominant strain infecting unvaccinated Americans and causing deeply concerning breakthrough infections among vaccinated individuals.
Vaccinations have starting to tick up as worries about the Delta variant have begun to set in, and private companies and some local governments have begun to mandate vaccinations. Time will only tell if this latest surge will lead to another lockdown of the country.
We hope that is not the case.
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