Ohio Republican congressman Steve Stivers has said $1,400 stimulus checks should only go to people who take the coronavirus vaccine, despite the government’s slow rollout meaning less than 6 percent of the population have so far been able to get the shot.
But the congressman said he would be willing to come around to the idea if the funds are directed only to Americans who take the vaccine because he said this would ‘buy’ herd immunity.
Stivers did not go into detail about how his plan would work so it is not clear if he proposes people should only receive the checks once the shots have gone physically gone into their arms – something that for Americans not on current priority lists is many months away.
For many Americans it is not a matter of choice to get the vaccine but that they are falling foul to the nation’s dismal vaccination program that has been racked with delays from the get-go.
The vast majority want to be vaccinated, with more than 60 percent of Americans saying they will definitely or probably get the vaccine when it is available to them, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll last week.
Meanwhile a separate survey by CNN found 41 percent of Americans would get the vaccine as soon as possible if it became available to them.
People feel they are being held up by issues with the rollout, with 59 percent saying vaccine distribution in their state is moving too slowly and 57 percent saying the process for getting a vaccine in their state has not been properly explained.
Though most want to get the shot, just 5.6 percent of Americans have so far been vaccinated and only 18.4 million doses administered, according to Bloomberg data, meaning Stivers’ plan could pose a double disadvantage to many of both waiting for a vaccine and waiting for some much-needed financial relief.
Ohio Republican congressman Steve Stivers has said $1,400 stimulus checks should only go to people who take the coronavirus vaccine, despite the government’s slow rollout meaning less than 6 percent of the population have so far been able to get the shot
‘It’s so important that we build herd immunity as soon as we can,’ said Stivers.
‘While I am not for giving $1,400 stimulus check for anything, I would be willing to sign off on a stimulus check of $1,400 for people who take the vaccine.
‘I hope the administration will look at that option because we actually buy something with our $1,400 – and that’s herd immunity.’
Stivers said the nation should only increase is debt ‘for the right things’ – which he said means recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and herd immunity.
‘The quickest thing we need to do if we really want to help the American people, is get this economy turned back on – get people back to work, get kids back in school, get ourselves some herd immunity, get the vaccine distributed as quick as we can and get the uptake rate up,’ he said.
‘That’s why I’d be willing to accept a $1,400 stimulus check if people were willing to take the vaccine.’
Stivers said he believes Republicans and Democrats can ‘come together on’ a stimulus package and reach some common ground.
‘There will be things we disagree on that’s how America works but hopefully there are things we can come together on,’ he said.
He added: ‘Well clearly the vaccine distribution getting that out as quickly as we can that is very, very important. That is super important.’
Americans blasted Stivers’ comments on social media, pointing out that many do not have access to the vaccine and that this will just hold up getting funds to people financially hard-hit by the pandemic.
‘Does this moron realize a very large part of the population doesn’t have access to the vaccine and have no idea when we will be able to get it,’ one person wrote.
Stivers told Yahoo Finance Live Thursday he does not support President Joe Biden’s plan to deliver a third stimulus check of $1,400 to millions of Americans financially impacted by the pandemic but would agree if it only goes to vaccinated Americans
‘Good idea though Steve, hold up more stimulus money for struggling Americans.’
Another agreed: ‘You have a lot of nerve @SteveStivers. Especially knowing that thousands and thousands of people don’t have access to it yet.’
‘what about people who desperately need the money but have no access to the vaccine, possibly for months? Not surprising to see this kind of regressive policy idea from GOP,’ fumed another person.
Others blasted the forceful tactic saying it takes away the right to ‘medical freedom’.
‘Really? what happened to medical freedom?’ one person wrote.
DailyMail.com has contacted Stivers’ office for clarification on his proposal and for comment.
Days before he took office, Biden unveiled his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan which includes $1,400 stimulus checks for Americans.
Congress will need to pass the relief bill before funds can be rolled out.
This would mark the third round of checks after the federal government issued $1,200 payments in April and $600 checks in January.
The $1,400 checks would take the latest round to $2,000.
This was the amount Democrats led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – and an unlikely ally of Donald Trump – had pushed for but was blocked by then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Biden said he hopes for bipartisan support but Republicans are expected to object to the plan.
Someone receives the vaccine in Arizona. For many Americans it is not a matter of choice to get the vaccine but that they are falling foul to the nation’s dismal vaccination program that has been racked with delays from the get-go
Though most want to get the shot, just 5.6 percent of Americans have so far been vaccinated and only 18.4 million doses administered, according to Bloomberg data
On Tuesday, Senator Pat Toomey said his plan ‘would be a colossal waste and economically harmful.’
While Stivers plan to withhold the checks from Americans who do not get the vaccine could incentivize people to get the vaccine it could put some of the most vulnerable at risk.
Once people are vaccinated, they will be protected from contracting coronavirus meaning it is safer for them to return to work.
But those not vaccinated, will still be at risk meaning it could be argued they are in greater need of financial assistance.
Research also shows the majority of Americans want to be vaccinated yet for those not in high-risk categories, it could be many months before they get the chance to get a shot.
To date, just 18.4 million doses have been administered across the US, with an average of 939,973 doses administered per day in the last week, according to data from Bloomberg.
The Trump administration had set a goal of inoculating 20 million Americans by the end of December, while Trump even claimed they would reach 100 million vaccinations in that time frame.
The federal government failed to deliver on this target, and just shy of 38 million doses had been delivered to the states as of Monday.
But state rollouts have also been plagued by issues in administering the doses once they reach officials on the ground.
So far, just 47.2 percent of all doses that have reached states have been administered to the American public with more than half sitting unused.
This week, California‘s state epidemiologist said it could take until June to vaccinate all residents aged 65 and over, pushing back the timeline for younger people to start getting the shot by at least four months.
And New York Governor Cuomo said it will take six months to vaccinate the current priority list including people aged 65 and over, the immunocompromised and healthcare workers with the current rate of supply.
The US’s woeful vaccination program comes as the nation passed the grim milestone of 400,000 COVID-19 deaths this week while infections have now topped 24.6 million.
Biden has pledged to administer 100 million vaccines in his first 100 days in office.
His plan will see 100 federal vaccination centers in large venues such as convention centers and stadiums and states reimbursed for setting up their own as well.
Some large cities are already setting up the centers, including in Miami, New York and Los Angeles, but 100 federal sites will spread the idea across the country.
President Joe Biden announced his promise to get 100 million Americans vaccinated in his first 100 days last week
And manufacturers will be ordered under the Defense Production Act to produce vaccine materials, from ingredients to needles, where there are shortages, as well as produce protective equipment such as N95 masks.
Stivers told Yahoo Trump’s impeachment trial could delay legislation – including the coronavirus relief bill – being passed.
‘Last time the impeachment trial took six weeks in the Senate. And it doesn’t take six weeks to go through the evidence. It takes six weeks because under the Senate rules everybody wants to talk and everybody gets to talk and so it will likely take at least four weeks,’ he said.
‘And the big thing it will slow down in the senate is the confirmation of President Biden’s cabinet but then it will take up floor time that could be used to pass the coronavirus package, an infrastructure package, housing packages,’ he said..
‘So I wish we weren’t spending time impeaching somebody that is already gone but that horse is already out of the barn I guess.’
He also said he also opposes other aspects of Biden’s plans including his campaign promises to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
‘I think a capital gains tax increase would be bad for economic growth…’ he said.
‘There are other things I’m willing to look at and willing to have a conversation about, but I would not start with things like a capital gains tax increase.’
Source: Daily Mail |World News