President Joe Biden promoted vaccine mandates for businesses on Thursday, criticizing Americans who felt they were a violation of their freedoms.
“I’ve tried everything in my power to get people vaccinated,” Biden said, flashing frustration that people were resisting his vaccination efforts since taking office in January.
Biden spoke about vaccine mandates at an event in Illinois where state and local officials are more strict than other midwestern states about requiring vaccines.
“Look, I know vaccination requirements are tough medicine, unpopular for some, politics for others, but they’re lifesaving, they’re game-changing for our country,” he said.
The president announced his decision to enact more vaccine mandates in September, but the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has not released the final text of the rule.
Biden admitted that vaccine mandates were not his “first instinct” but that he felt it was the only way to get the vast majority of Americans vaccinated.
“Yes. Some object. And some object very strenuously, and some are making a political statement out of this issue,” he said.
He claimed vaccine mandates for employment are “nothing new,” citing vaccine requirements for polio, measles, mumps, and rubella in certain fields.
“I don’t quite get this, you know, why it’s a matter of, ‘No violation of your right to go to school, or get a job,’ etc., but now it’s a great cause célèbre?” Biden asked, mispronouncing the French word on his teleprompter.
Biden argued that vaccine mandates were actually broadly popular with Americans and effective, as people reluctant to get the coronavirus vaccine chose to get vaccinated rather than lose their jobs.
“It’s about life and death, that’s what it’s about … it’s about being patriotic, doing the right thing,” he said.
Lowering his voice to a whisper, Biden reminded the audience that even Fox News had vaccine mandates.
“This I always get a kick out of, Fox News. Fox News requires vaccinations for all their employees. Give me a break. Fox News,” he said.
Biden also claimed that unvaccinated Americans were flooding hospitals with coronavirus cases and threatening the economy by making people afraid to leave their homes.
“They’re worried they’re going to get sick,” he said.