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Politics Pete Buttigieg tells evangelicals: 'A vaccine is part of God's plan'

21:15  11 april  2021
21:15  11 april  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Peter Buttigieg wearing a suit and tie: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

Pete Buttigieg told Christians Sunday that getting vaccinated against coronavirus is 'part of God's plan' as a new poll shows 30% of white evangelicals will definitely refuse to get inoculated.

'You have been outspoken on issues of your personal faith. Otherwise, I normally wouldn't bring this up,' CNN's Jake Tapper posed to Buttigieg. 'Why do you think it is that so many of your fellow white evangelical Christians are reluctant to be vaccinated? And what's your message to them?'

'You know, sometimes, I have heard people, people I care about, saying, if I'm faithful, God's going to take care of me,' the Transportation secretary said in his interview with 'State of the Union' Sunday morning.

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'And I guess what I would hope they might consider is that maybe a vaccine is part of God's plan for how you're going to take care of yourself,' he continued. 'In the end, I have to admit that it's unlikely that an official like me is going to be persuasive to somebody who maybe doesn't feel like Washington has been speaking to them for a long time.'

Buttigieg, who is open about his faith whose father taught at the Catholic university Notre Dame, said faith leaders should be encouraging their congregation to get vaccinated.

Peter Buttigieg wearing a suit and tie: Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Sunday that evangelicals who say they definitely won't get vaccinated against coronavirus should 'consider is that maybe a vaccine is part of God's plan for how you're going to take care of yourself' © Provided by Daily Mail Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Sunday that evangelicals who say they definitely won't get vaccinated against coronavirus should 'consider is that maybe a vaccine is part of God's plan for how you're going to take care of yourself' Jake Tapper, Peter Buttigieg are posing for a picture: His comments to CNN came as host Jake Tapper spoke about how 30% of white evangelical christians won't get inoculated against COVID-19 © Provided by Daily Mail His comments to CNN came as host Jake Tapper spoke about how 30% of white evangelical christians won't get inoculated against COVID-19

'Pastors – I mean, the very word pastor, the idea of pastoral care is about supporting those who look to you for guidance,' he explained. 'And, usually, we think of that in a spiritual sense, but, sometimes, that could also just be true for health.'

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'And so I hope anybody who is looking after a community of people, including a faith community, will consider ways to help guide them towards steps that can protect them and protect those around them,' Buttigieg said.

Behind Republican, white evangelicals are the second most likely group not to get vaccinated against coronavirus.

As Biden's head of the Transportation Department, Buttigieg also assured in his CNN interview Sunday morning that the administration is not pursuing a federal-level vaccine passport proposal.

This idea is something Republicans and christians have railed against, as well.

Buttigieg, who ran in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, was joining a few Sunday morning programs to promote Biden's $2.3 trillion infrastructure bill.

South Dakota 's Republican Senator John Thune claimed in opposition to Buttigieg's claims that only 6% of Biden's package actually is focused on infrastructure.

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The comments come as Buttigieg wouldn't rule out in his CNN interview adding in a way to get so-called 'dreamers' citizenship in the massive infrastructure bill.

'If they are interested in roads, bridges, highways and perhaps broadband, then there is a deal to be had there,' Thune, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, told 'Fox News Sunday' host Chris Wallace.

'Infrastructure in the past has always been bipartisan, when it's confined to infrastructure,' he continued.

Thune said that Biden's proposal 'is a massive expansion of the government.

'Only about 6% of the president's proposal actually goes to what the American people – I think everyday Americans – would describe as infrastructure.'

John Thune wearing a suit and tie: South Dakota Senator John Thune said only 6% of Joe Biden's package is focused on hard infrastructure despite the president touting it as an infrastructure bill © Provided by Daily Mail South Dakota Senator John Thune said only 6% of Joe Biden's package is focused on hard infrastructure despite the president touting it as an infrastructure bill

Republicans lament Biden's administration is attempting to redefine infrastructure to include pet projects, including more green initiatives and social welfare measures.

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Biden's team – and other Democrats – argue that the definition of 'infrastructure' needs to be expanded to encompass, among other things, rural broadband, elderly care, and universal child care.

'We can agree to disagree on what to call it — I'm still going to ask you to vote for it,' Buttigieg told CNN's 'State of the Union' on Sunday morning.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus wants to provide a path to citizenships for those in the U.S. with temporary protected status (TPS) and Obama-era 'dreamers', whose fate was up in the air when former President Doanld Trump said he would not honor their special status.

a close up of a bridge: Republicans lament Democrats are trying to squeeze in their pet projects in Biden's $2.3 trillion infrastructure package ¿ rather than including 'hard' infrastructure measures to improve roads, bridges and buildings © Provided by Daily Mail Republicans lament Democrats are trying to squeeze in their pet projects in Biden's $2.3 trillion infrastructure package ¿ rather than including 'hard' infrastructure measures to improve roads, bridges and buildings

The caucus also wants the infrastructure package to include citizenship paths for essential workers who are not U.S. citizens.

Although Buttigieg did not rule out the idea, he said a path to citizenship is not currently 'in the plan that the president's put forward.

'I will say that we're hearing a lot of ideas from across the aisle and from within our caucus on what to do about the pay-fors, different shapes that the infrastructure package and the transportation infrastructure can take,' Buttigieg told Jake Tapper.

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'I think you'll find the president is ready to listen to these ideas that are going to come up, for example, in tomorrow's meeting,' he added.

Assuredly adding in any immigration provisions to the package would only further complicate getting any Republican support for the bill.

Biden will meet on Monday with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to discuss his infrastructure plan.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm also tried to join in on redefining infrastructure on Sunday.

'What is infrastructure? Historically, it's been what makes the economy move,' Granholm told ABC's 'This Week' host George Stephanopoulos on Sunday.

graphical user interface, website: Biden's Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm tried to redefine infrastructure, claiming ti 'evolves to meet the American peoples' aspirations' © Provided by Daily Mail Biden's Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm tried to redefine infrastructure, claiming ti 'evolves to meet the American peoples' aspirations'

'Infrastructure evolves to meet the American peoples' aspirations – and it's not static,' she insisted. 'We don't want to use past definitions of infrastructure when we are moving into the future.'

She added: 'The president wants to negotiate with Republicans and he wants to see a common vision for the future.'

Both Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Chris Coons of Delaware, a close friend and longtime colleague of Biden, have expressed their opposition to an infrastructure bill of such magnitude.

Coons even suggested there should be a bill focused solely on 'hard' infrastructure bill with a price tag in the hundreds of billions – not few trillions.

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