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Sen. Ted Cruz

Photo from Ted Cruz's official Facebook

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) compared President Joe Biden's efforts to make COVID-19 vaccines accessible for all Americans to totalitarian communism on Thursday, becoming the latest congressional Republican to push fear-mongering rhetoric on the subject.

"When the Biden admin calls for 'targeted' 'door-to-door outreach' to get people vaccinated, it comes across as a g-man saying: 'We know you're unvaccinated, let's talk, comrade,'" Cruz tweeted.

"My bill to ban federal vaccine passports prohibits the feds from maintaining a vaccine database," he added.

The term "comrade," used as a greeting, typically refers to a fellow member of the Communist Party, and has long been associated with the Soviet Union.

Contrary to Cruz's assertion, Biden is not launching a Soviet-style attempt to force people to receive the COVID-19 vaccines.

Biden explained in a press conference Tuesday that after initially focusing on mass vaccinations, the next step was to make vaccines available to the people who had been resistant to or are still unsure about receiving them, or those unable to get them previously.

"Now we need to go to community by community, neighborhood by neighborhood, and oftentimes, door to door — literally knocking on doors — to get help to the remaining people protected from the virus," Biden said. "Look, equity, equality — it remains at the heart of our responsibility of ensuring that communities that are the hardest hit by the virus have the information and the access to get vaccinated."

The strategy is not new. The Department of Health and Human Services' COVID-19 "community corps" have been working since May to send teams in targeted areas to knock on doors to educate people about the shots and sometimes even offer to vaccinate them at home.

Like Cruz, other congressional Republicans have tried to persuade Americans into thinking the vaccination efforts are tyrannical.

On Tuesday, Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene likened the approach to Nazi "Brownshirts," or paramilitary forces, tweeting, "Biden pushing a vaccine that is NOT FDA approved shows covid is a political tool used to control people. People have a choice, they don't need your medical brown shirts showing up at their door ordering vaccinations. You can't force people to be part of the human experiment."

Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert made a similar comparison. "Biden has deployed his Needle Nazis to Mesa County," she wrote on Thursday. "The people of my district are more than smart enough to make their own decisions about the experimental vaccine and don't need coercion by federal agents. Did I wake up in Communist China?"

Ohio's Rep. Warren Davidson tweeted on Wednesday, "Wait a minute. So the Trump administration can't even ask who is a US citizen -- while doing the census -- but the Biden administration can go door to door to know who isn't vaccinated? This might just be about power to some people…"

"It's NONE of the governments business knowing who has or hasn't been vaccinated," said Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs, adding, "In 2021, the nine most terrifying words in the English language: 'I'm from the government, have you been vaccinated yet?'"

The tweet appeared to be a reference to a 1986 news conference during which then-President Ronald Reagan claimed, "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the Government, and I'm here to help."

Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie, meanwhile, offered a warning, tweeting on Tuesday, "A lot of people have big government antibodies. Don't knock on those doors."

As Cruz and his colleagues discourage efforts to help people get vaccinated, their own constituents are the ones at the greatest risk as the deadly Delta variant spreads across the country.

In recent days, Republican-leaning areas, where far fewer people are immunized, are seeing another spike in coronavirus cases. In Democratic-leaning areas, where vaccination rates are much higher, that appears not to be the case.

A Washington Post-ABC News poll released Wednesday found that 93 percent of Democratic voters say they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or plan to be. Just 49 percent of Republicans said the same.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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