“The unvaccinated are starting to feel discriminated against,” she said while eating a salad outside the Fairfax Whole Foods. “When you start telling people to put something in their body, people get annoyed at limiting their personal choices and freedoms.”
Some Republican strategists say Mr Biden’s push will only cause their constituents to say goodbye and become even more resistant to vaccination.
“Health-wise, it’s right to volunteer to vaccinate more people,” said Brad Todd, a consultant whose clients include Senators Josh Hawley from Missouri and Rick Scott from Florida. “The rights of the country want to make their own decisions and will do many things to prove it.”
But Democrats believe mandates are needed to slow the spread of the pandemic, and good politics too. How Mr Biden is now handling the pandemic will set the tone for the mid-term elections, which many party strategists believe will be won or lost as Americans think of the virus’ ongoing impact on their wallets, schools and jobs.
The Democrats also see a political advantage in running against Republican governors who opposed public health measures like masking and vaccination mandates – just as they tried to portray Republicans as extreme and unreasonable during the Trump administration and out of the 2020 election with the Control of the whites emerged from House and Congress.
“Did you do it,” Mr Biden said Friday when asked about Republican threats to sue his government over the mandates. “I am so disappointed that some of the Republican governors in particular have been so carefree with the health of these children – so careless for the health of their communities.”
For some voters, Mr Biden is simply channeling their own desperation.
“I spent the first year of Covid fearful that we would kill my father. Now that he’s fully vaccinated, I’m afraid I might hurt my children, ”said Ravi Grivois-Shah, family doctor and school board member in Tucson, Arizona who lives with his 74-year-old father and three children. “I’m sick of being scared. I’m tired of going through it all over again. “