Chris Christie says Dems made COVID vaccines 'political,' calls for educating, 'not indoctrinating' Americans

Chris Christie says Dems made COVID vaccines 'political,' calls for educating, 'not indoctrinating' Americans


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EXCLUSIVE: Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Democrats made COVID-19 vaccines “political,” slamming mandates as “the wrong way to go” and encouraging public officials on educating the public, rather than “indoctrinating” them.

In an interview with Fox News about his new book, “Republican Rescue: Saving the Party from Truth Deniers, Conspiracy Theorists, and the Dangerous Policies of Joe Biden,” Christie discussed the issue of vaccines and how inoculations became political.

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“The Democrats started making COVID vaccines political by saying they wouldn’t take the vaccine or trust a vaccine that got developed under Trump,” Christie told Fox News. “Even though we know the vaccines were developed by some of the best pharmaceutical and research minds in the world.”

Former governor of New Jersey Chris Christie speaks onstage during the 2019 Concordia Annual Summit at Grand Hyatt New York on Sept. 23, 2019, in New York City. 
(Riccardo Savi/Getty Images for Concordia Summit)

Christie was referring to comments made on the campaign trail by now-President Biden and now-Vice President Kamala Harris. Harris, in 2020, said she may not trust the effectiveness of a vaccine Trump was pushing. 

The Trump administration created Operation Warp Speed, a public-private partnership to create vaccines against the novel coronavirus, as the pandemic raged in 2020. Under the Trump administration, the Food and Drug Administration approved emergency use authorizations for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.

But despite Christie slamming Democrats for leading the politicization, the former New Jersey governor argued that neither Trump nor Biden has done enough to educate the public. 

“Trump and Biden didn’t do a good enough job in educating people about vaccines, and that’s the biggest thing leading to the problems we have today,” Christie said. “People need to be educated about the risks of not getting a vaccine, and people have a right to ask these questions before we put something in their body.” 

He added that officials should “educate them” that “the real risk” is not getting vaccinated. 

Christie had COVID-19 in October 2020 and told Fox News he spent a “very difficult” seven days in the ICU. 

President Biden listens to a reporter's question after delivering remarks on the November jobs report in the State Dining Room of the White House, Friday, Dec. 3, 2021, in Washington.

President Biden listens to a reporter’s question after delivering remarks on the November jobs report in the State Dining Room of the White House, Friday, Dec. 3, 2021, in Washington.
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

“I say to everybody, you don’t want to get it,” Christie said. “Some people walk away with barely a symptom and other people wind up dying, and doctors still can’t tell you exactly why.”

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Christie told Fox News he “fortunately” does not have any long-term side effects from his battle with COVID-19, but he stressed the importance of vaccinations.

“The best way to protect yourself from the ramifications of COVID is to get the vaccination,” Christie said.

The Biden administration has made a significant push in promoting COVID-19 vaccines, launching door-to-door efforts over the summer, to help communities receive information and resources regarding how and when they could receive their doses. The administration, over the summer, had also sought to incentivize Americans by urging state and local governments to use coronavirus relief funds to pay citizens $100 each to get vaccinated.

The proposals from the administration came amid concerns over breakthrough cases, infections among vaccinated individuals, and the delta variant, which became prominent in communities across the country earlier this year. Public health officials are now urging caution about a new COVID variant — omicron — which they say is a cause for concern due to its ability to heavily mutate.

Meanwhile, Biden has issued a number of executive orders mandating vaccinations for individuals — including health care workers, employees of the federal government and employees of private businesses with 100 workers or more.

But the Biden administration has faced a string of legal losses over its COVID-19 mandates, with a number of federal judges across the nation halting the implementation of the rules, claiming overreach by the executive branch — as the Justice Department plans to “vigorously defend” the mandates in court.

The Biden administration last month unveiled the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration COVID-19 vaccine rule, which required employers with more than 100 employees to ensure that all workers are either fully vaccinated or subject to weekly testing and mask-wearing.

The mandate also hit businesses that fail to comply with fines reaching as much as $14,000 per violation with the potential for multiple citations.

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After the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld its stay on the mandate, OSHA suspended enforcement of the rule.

Meanwhile, this week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio rolled out a COVID vaccine mandate of his own — requiring all private sector employees in the Big Apple to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 27. The new measure will apply to roughly 184,000 New York City businesses.

De Blasio’s office also said it is broadening “Key to NYC,” its program requiring proof of vaccination for indoor dining, fitness and entertainment – expanding the measure to include 5- to 11-year-olds. De Blasio’s office said “approximately 20%” of that age group is vaccinated in New York City. 

Beginning Dec. 14, the program will require children ages 5-11 to show proof of one vaccination dose for those venues, and starting Dec. 27, New Yorkers 12 and older will be required to show proof of two vaccine doses, instead of one, except for those who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

De Blasio also announced 5- to 11-year-old children will be required to get vaccinated to participate in “high-risk extracurricular activities,” including sports, band, orchestra and dance. The requirement for the initial vaccine dose is set to take effect on Dec. 14. 

But Christie slammed mandates, saying they are “the wrong way to go.”

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“I think we should be educating people,” Christie told Fox News. “Not indoctrinating them.”

He added: “That is what America is all about.”

“To me, the idea of going the mandate route is wrong and causes further division in our country,” Christie continued. “What are we going to have? The vaccine police? It doesn’t make sense to me.”



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