CNN medical contributor Dr. Leana Wen suggested Saturday that life needs to be “hard” for Americans who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine and individuals who refuse to get shots should perhaps face weekly testings.
“It needs to be hard for people to remain unvaccinated,” Wen, the former Planned Parenthood president, said. “Right now, it’s kind of the opposite.”
Unvaccinated people, she fretted, can at the moment go about their lives as normal without any consequence.
“But at some point these mandates, by workplaces, by schools, I think it will be important to say, ‘Hey, you can opt out, but if you want to opt out, you have to sign these forms, you have to get twice weekly testing,’” Wen said. “Basically, we need to make getting vaccinated the easy choice.”
“The CDC struck a difficult (but overall correct) balance: We need to get our kids all back to in-person instruction in the Fall, and mitigation measures help us to do so safely. Indoor masking & weekly #covid19 testing for the unvaccinated are key, along with improved ventilation,” Wen added on Twitter.
The CDC announced on Friday that in-person schooling is a priority this fall, with the caveat that masks should be worn indoors by children ages 2 and older who are not fully vaccinated.
The Biden administration recently said it’s considering a door-to-door vaccination push. Wen argued on CNN it was a mistake for the White House to not back some kind of “vaccine credentialing.”
Wen’s comments piggyback off an op-ed she wrote in the Washington Post urging President Biden to mandate vaccinations nationally and scolding him for not more aggressively using his platform. She argued the White House Independence Day event would have been a perfect opportunity to share that message.
“The celebration could have been a chance to show that vaccination isn’t just an individual decision, but one that affects the health of others — including those already vaccinated,” Wen wrote.
CNN medical analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner also suggested Friday it was time to mandate vaccines.
“I do think it’s time to start mandating vaccines,” Reiner told Erin Burnett. “And I think that private industry and private organizations will do that.”