Former Obama administration Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday on MSNBC’s “All In” that Americans who have not received a coronavirus vaccine are like “secondhand smoke” in that they can make people sick.
Sebelius said, “I think what President Biden has done is balance between what the science says and trying to cajole, encourage, make it easy for people to follow the science. When that turned out not to be as effective, then he turned to more hardened mandates. But what people don’t have a right to do is make other people sick, put other people in jeopardy, risk other people’s lives, risk children’s lives. So I think the president has been walking a line of balancing science and safety and security at every step along the way. Hoping that the mass majority of the American public would follow that lead.”
She added, “It’s a lot like secondhand smoke. You have a right to be a smoker. The science is very clear what smoking will do to you, what cancer will be caused, what kinds of health conditions. You have a right to be a smoker. You don’t have a right to smoke next to my desk, to blow smoke on people, on my children, to force me to live in a housing facility where I am subjected to more smoke. That is a line that we have in this country, which delineates what your individual rights are. I think we’re looking at very much the same situation. OSHA, you’re absolutely right, has always provided guidance and mandates about safety in a workplace. This is not a safe workplace if I’m working with a person that may make me and my family sick. That’s not acceptable.”
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN