Reluctance among conservatives to get vaccinated against Covid-19 has caused growing concern inside the White House, according to people familiar with the matter, even as President Joe Biden’s administration rapidly scales up nationwide efforts to administer shots.
The topic has been the subject of several high-level conversations between administration advisers and health experts, including at the presidential level, the officials said.
Conservatives will now be one of the primary target audiences for a massive public relations campaign that could launch as early as next week, officials said. And the administration, through its partners, has been working with NASCAR, country music organizations and several rural organizations on vaccine confidence efforts meant for conservative eyes and ears.
Still, the one person whose public vaccine endorsement some experts say would be influential, President Donald Trump, appears unlikely to work in any capacity with the current administration to promote the shots. And polls show the number of Trump voters who say they will never get the vaccine is increasing.
Biden's First 100 Days
The push to convince people who did not vote for Biden to get vaccinated underscores the difficulty in navigating the fraught politics of the pandemic. The vaccine joins masks, social distancing and lockdowns as a health measure that divides Americans by party, in large part fueled by conservative media distortions.