EXCLUSIVE: Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich on Tuesday wrote to President Biden expressing his concern about a plan by the White House to go "door-to-door" to encourage unvaccinated Americans to receive the COVID-19 vaccine – raising privacy concerns and warning that Arizona will not tolerate potential federal government intrusion.
Brnovich wrote to Biden after the president pitched his plan to boost the vaccinated population.
"Now we need to go community by community, neighborhood by neighborhood and often times door-to-door -- literally knocking on doors, to get help to the remaining people protected from the virus," Biden said.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki also referred to the "door-to-door" effort while listing the five objectives of Biden's COVID response earlier in the day at Tuesday's White House briefing, citing "targeted community door-to-door outreach" to "get remaining Americans vaccinated by ensuring that they have the information they need on how both safe and accessible the vaccine is."
Brnovich, who is running for the U.S. Senate and has launched a number of legal challenges and efforts to push back against what he sees as federal overreach and policies that impact Arizona, expressed concern about what he saw as potential government intrusions into Americans’ health care privacy.
"I, along with many Arizonans, was greatly alarmed by your White House indicating that it might be in possession of medical records revealing the contact information for Americans who have not been vaccinated," the Republican said in the letter to Biden, obtained by Fox News. "If this is the case, this is a severe breach of privacy, and I will not tolerate such intrusions within Arizona."
An administration official told Fox News that door-to-door canvassing is part of the White House's "National Month of Action" to increase vaccination rates announced in June. The effort involves encouraging grassroots and community groups to facilitate conversations about the importance of getting the COVID-19 shot and urging those who are already vaccinated to talk to friends and family.
It does not use Americans' medical records, and instead the official said that the effort uses Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data to focus on areas with low vaccination rates and large "movable" populations -- a push that the administration said led to an increase in rates in places like Alabama, Florida and Texas.
Psaki was asked on Wednesday about concerns from the right about the government knocking on doors, and sought to allay those fears.
"What this effort is a continuation of what we have seen as an impactful effort that we've had by local public health officials and volunteers and a range of communities over the last month of action," she told reporters.
She then cited successes of getting low vaccination rates up in places like Florida, Mississippi and elsewhere.
"But what we're doing is...local officials are going to areas where there are lower vaccination rates and providing information on where people can get access to a vaccine, where they can go, that it's free, that they can take time off of work," she said. "It's up to individuals to decide whether they want to get vaccinated or not. But what we've seen as a barrier all along for months has been access and information."
Brnovich, in his letter. said the COVID vaccines have "been a great breakthrough" but warned that Americans "do not trust government intrusion or the politicization of the health care process."
Brnovich’s concern is one of a number of Republican criticisms of the plan -- fearing what they see as a potential slippery slope.
"Door to door to vaccinate Americans this year… door to door to confiscate guns next year?" Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., tweeted.
"How about don’t knock on my door," Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, tweeted. "You’re not my parents. You’re the government. Make the vaccine available, and let people be free to choose."
Fox News' Joseph Wulfsohn contributed to this report.