White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a news briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House February 16, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a news briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House February 16, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) – The White House said Monday that it supports the right for local leaders to institute COVID-19 vaccine mandates if that’s how they decide to keep people safe.

As CNSNews.com previously reported, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN’s “State of the Union” that he is in favor of vaccine mandates.

Fox News White House Correspondent Peter Doocy asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki whether President Joe Biden agrees with Fauci that there should be more vaccine mandates at the local level.

“I don’t have the full context of Dr. Fauci’s comments in front of me, but I will say that–” Psaki said.

DOOCY: I do have it. 

PSAKI: Oh, go ahead. Let’s hear it.

DOOCY: He said, I’ve been of this opinion, and I remain of that opinion that I do believe that at the local level, Jake, there should be more mandates. There really should be. We’re talking about a life and death situation. We’ve lost 600,000 Americans already, and we’re still losing more people.

PSAKI: Well I would say first from the federal government, if I remember the context of the question, it was about federal mandates I believe. Correct me if I’m wrong. That’s not a decision that we are making. That’s not our intention from the federal government. There will be decisions made by private sector entities, by universities, by educational institutions, and even perhaps by local leaders should they decide that is how to keep their community safe. If they decide to make that decision, we certainly support them in that step.

DOOCY: The president said on March 11, ‘My message to you is this. Listen to Dr. Fauci.’ Is he now saying, don’t listen to Dr. Fauci?

PSAKI: Welcome back. I would say that what Dr. Fauci was conveying is that there will be decisions made by local leaders just like there will be decisions made by business leaders, by institutional leaders on how they can keep their community safe, and we support their right to make those decisions.
 

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