A former presidential candidate is proposing a measure that would pay people $1,500 in exchange for getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
U.S. Rep. John Delaney, D-Maryland, told CNBC the payments would be an “incentive” for those who might be reluctant to take the vaccine.
“The faster we get 75% of this country vaccinated, the faster we end COVID and the sooner everything returns to normal,” said Delaney, who ran for president in 2020. “We have to create, in my judgment, an incentive for people to really accelerate their thinking about taking the vaccine.”
Delaney said the payments wouldn’t mean the vaccine would be required for everyone.
“If you’re still afraid of the vaccine and don’t want to take it, that’s your right,” Delaney said. “You won’t participate in this program. But guess what? You’re going to benefit anyhow, because we’ll get the country to herd immunity faster, which benefits you. So I think everyone wins.”
Delaney’s proposal would cost about $380 billion, roughly $110 billion more than the total of the stimulus payments that went out in March during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. That stimulus provided up to $2,400 for married couples and up to $1,200 for single people with an additional $500 per dependent. Despite months of negotiations, Congress has failed to agree on terms for a second COVID-19 stimulus.