Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said a vaccine mandate is the "most quickest, easiest, cheapest thing" the government can do to begin to recover from the pandemic during an interview with MSNBC on Monday:
COMMERCE SECRETARY GINA RAIMONDO: I see this as a huge step forward to getting people back to work and finally recovering, having the economy recover. It takes the guesswork out. It is probably the most quickest, easiest, cheapest thing that we could do to get Americans back to work. Getting vaccinated is cheap, it is free, it is effective, and it is the single biggest thing that's holding back the economy right now. I am proud of the president for doing it. Many businesses are lauding the decision. I think we're going to see a big impact, positive impact on our economy on account of this decision.
STEPHANIE RUHLE, MSNBC: I am puzzled by people that continue to say they're forced to get vaccinated here. There's always been a choice. If you do not want to get vaccinated, you can work from home. You can home school your children. You can shop online. Where is this coming from, people saying I'm now being forced to be vaccinated. We never forced vaccinations on kids in school. If you didn't want to vaccinate your kids, you can home school and people have done it for years.
RAIMONDO: Nobody is being forced. If you don't get vaccinated, you get tested on a weekly basis. The reality is science is crystal clear on this. Get vaccinated. These vaccines are incredibly effective. They're free. They work. And we just -- it is unacceptable people aren't getting vaccinated. We need our kids in schools, we need schools open. We need people to get back to work, flying on airplanes, we need people in restaurants.
We have too many Americans still out of work and this is a simple, effective shot in the arm if you will that our economy needs and there's no reason not to get vaccinated at this point in time. That being said, we are not being forced. You can work from home, get tested on a weekly basis. I think this is smart public policy and great leadership by the president.