Jen Psaki: Biden Won’t Need a Vaccine Passport - He Has ‘Private Plane'
WH press secretary suggests travel rules only apply to average Americans
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Joe Biden is ok to travel because, unlike the average American, he has a private airplane.
Psaki also confirmed the government is developing “guidelines” for vaccine passports.
Psaki was pressed on Biden’s position on whether companies can tell their employees not to return to work if they haven't been vaccinated or if passengers could be rejected by airlines without proof of a vaccine.
“Well, we’re going to provide guidance, just as we have, through the CDC."
"There’s currently an interagency process that is looking at many of the questions around vaccine verification."
“And that issue will touch many agencies as verification is an issue that will potentially touch many sectors of society, as you have certainly alluded to," she added.
"We expect — as Andy Slavitt, I think, alluded to — that a determination or development of a vaccine passport, or whatever you want to call it, will be driven by the private sector.”
Jen Psaki just said it's fine for Joe Biden to travel while telling the rest of us not to due to COVID-19 because he has a "private plane." pic.twitter.com/TS4ThO3v3S— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) March 29, 2021
“Ours will more be focused on guidelines that can be used as a basis,” she added.
“And there are a couple of key principles that we are working from. One is that there will be no centralized, universal federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential."
"Second, we want to encourage an open marketplace with a variety of private sector companies and nonprofit coalitions developing solutions."
"And third, we want to drive the market toward meeting public interest goals.”
Psaki was asked about preventative measures of a fourth surge, including Americans eliminating nonessential travel from their plans.
“Is the warning against nonessential travel something that the White House is taking into consideration with regard to upcoming travel by the President and Vice President, both for business and for personal reasons?” the reporter asked.
“Well, I would say the President travels, as does the Vice President, on a private plane,” Psaki said.
“That is the purview of every President and Vice President throughout American history. That is, of course, different than traveling on a commercial flight and going to mass events."
"As you know, we don’t — the President is not hosting rallies, nor is the Vice President. We take the role of sending — being models quite seriously. But I think most Americans would recognize the difference.”
Another reporter asked if CDC travel guidance applies to people traveling on private planes.
“I think the President — he was asking me specifically about the President’s travel and the Vice President’s travel."
"And the specifics of the guidelines — you can certainly ask the CDC for further clarification,” Psaki said.
“But what I’m conveying is that the President — and as any President does — travels on Air Force One, whether he is traveling to visit a community in this country or whether he is traveling to go to his home state of Delaware. And I think most people recognize that as being a difference.”
Meanwhile, the Biden administration is working on vaccine passports via a scannable code similar to an airline boarding pass.
The Washington Post reported:
“The administration’s initiative has been driven largely by arms of the Department of Health and Human Services, including an office devoted to health information technology, said five officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the effort."