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Former Surgeon General Questions COVID Vaccine Incentives Such As Beers, Marijuana, Guns

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Former U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams is raising the concern about the harms and benefits of COVID-19 vaccine incentives.

Appearing on CNN’s “New Day” Thursday, Adams was asked, “Beer, joints, how do you feel about those as incentives?”

Adams noted that the U.S. is in the “last leg of the relay” in urging Americans to get the coronavirus vaccine, which, as he says, is “proving more difficult than anyone could imagine.”

Turning to vaccine incentives, Adams said, “Enticements have always been an ethical dilemma in public health policy. Covid is no exception.”

“You’ve got a public health community on one hand that’s arguing for safety for gun ownership, prevention of youth drug use and a national plan to address the perils of epidemic of alcohol overconsumption,” he continued, “And we have governments endorsing gun giveaways, marijuana ‘Joints for Jabs,’ and the President of the United States essentially participating in a giant beer commercial.”

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He questioned the harms and benefits of such incentives. “What’s the harm? What’s the benefit?” Adams added.

Watch the interview below:

The White House is partnering with Anheuser-Busch to offer free beers if 70% of adults in the U.S. get at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by July 4.

“Get a shot and have a beer. Free beer for everyone 21 years or over to celebrate the independence from the virus,” President Joe Biden said.

In Washington, the state launched “Joints for Jabs” to “provide a temporary allowance to state licensed cannabis retailers to provide one joint to adult consumers who receive a vaccination at an in-store vaccination clinic,” per the state’s Liquor and Cannabis Board. The allowance expires on July 12.

In West Virginia, the Republican governor announced earlier this month, “We’re gonna give five custom hunting rifles and five custom hunting shotguns away on Father’s Day. And also on Father’s Day, we’re gonna make one of you a millionaire.” It is part of an effort to encourage residents to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Gov. Jim Justice (R-W. Va.) added, “We’re gonna give away a million dollars to somebody on Father’s Day. That’s it and then we’re gonna continue that right along, absolutely and this is for all people that have been vaccinated.”

Roughly 172.1 million people in the U.S. have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to The New York Times.

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