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Former Planned Parenthood President Dr. Leana Wen wrote in the Washington Post on Tuesday that President Joe Biden should mandate vaccinations, asserting that getting the jab is not an “individual decision.”
Wen, a former Baltimore City Health Commissioner, criticized Biden and his coronavirus task force coordinator Jeffrey Zients for not requiring attendees at the White House’s Independence Day event to be vaccinated.
“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, calling the event a “missed opportunity” for the president to assert himself.
She characterized Zients as holding a “live and let live attitude” which ignores the “danger to those who do not have immune protection, and not by choice.”
Wen alluded to Biden’s newly-announced plan to encourage door-to-door visits to urge yet-unvaccinated Americans to get the shot, but said that it isn’t enough.
“Biden needs to get behind proof of vaccination, starting with his own White House events,” she wrote. “It matters for everyone, including the vaccinated.”
Wen praised the large number of colleges enforcing blanket vaccine mandates for students, recommending that Americans try to surround themselves with those who are also vaccinated.
She said that Biden should “assist” more employers to institute similar mandates as well.
Wen wrote that vaccinated people have a greater chance of getting infected when they are around unvaccinated people, but added that such a dynamic doesn’t undermine the importance or effectiveness of vaccines.
In September, Wen notably appeared on CNN as the network’s medical analyst and claimed that Black Lives Matter protests were safer than then-President Donald Trump’s campaign rallies, in part because of the “behavior of the participants.”
“At protests, many people are aware of the risks and are doing everything they can to reduce that risk, versus at many of the rallies we are seeing people going in defiance,” Wen said, adding in a Post column at the time that many attendees at Trump events proudly shirk governmental mask mandates, and that the then-president uses “his platform to mock public health practices.”