President Joe Biden had a pretty clear message on Thursday — all federal workers, large employers and some health care staff should be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. In one swoop, Biden applied these requirements to more than 100 million Americans.
- “We’ve been patient,” Biden said. “But our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us,” he said.
- He added that the unvaccinated minority “can cause a lot of damage, and they are.”
- “And the roughly 17 million workers at health facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid also will have to be fully vaccinated,” per The Associated Press.
While the speech makes clear that the Biden administration is pushing the vaccine, it has been called into question on multiple levels. For example, Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a CNN medical analyst, said Biden didn’t go far enough.
“I loved the speech; I wish he had gone further. I wanted the president to restrict travel this holiday season to people who’ve been vaccinated,” he said.
Still, the vaccine mandates may seem like a troubling trend since people in the U.S. want their freedom.
Dr. Paul Offit, the director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital Of Philadelphia, told CNN that Biden made the right choice to require vaccines for federal workers, some health care staff and more employers, saying the president “put his finger right on what the problem is right now in this country.”
But Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee condemned the requirements, saying Biden made the wrong call in requiring people to get the vaccine.
“To be clear: the vaccine is the best tool we have to combat the pandemic but heavy-handed mandates are the wrong approach,” he said in a tweet.
Experts maintain that the COVID-19 vaccine remains the best way to stop the spread of the coronavirus and end the pandemic. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Axios earlier this week that America’s COVID-19 cases are too high right now.
“The endgame is to suppress the virus,” he said. “Right now, we’re still in pandemic mode, because we have 160,000 new infections a day. That’s not even modestly good control ... which means it’s a public health threat.”
Seeing the U.S. with more than 100,000 cases per day won’t help, he said.
“In a country of our size, you can’t be hanging around and having 100,000 infections a day. You’ve got to get well below 10,000 before you start feeling comfortable,” Fauci told Axios.