President Joe Biden blamed unvaccinated Americans on Tuesday for the resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic on his watch.
“We have a pandemic, because of the unvaccinated and they’re sowing enormous confusion,” he said, adding, “If those other 100 million got vaccinated, we’d be in a very different world.”
Biden commented after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Tuesday new masking recommendations for even fully vaccinated Americans as the delta variant of the coronavirus continues to spread at a rapid pace.
The president confirmed he was considering forcing all federal government employees to get vaccinated.
“That’s under consideration right now. But if you’re not vaccinated, you’re not nearly as smart as I thought you were,” Biden told reporters after delivering a speech to the intelligence community.
Biden’s remarks demonstrate a more hostile and darker tone from his administration toward unvaccinated Americans, despite initially trying push vaccines using incentives and more information.
The administration began announcing vaccine mandates for some in the federal government Monday, requiring all frontline healthcare workers in the Veterans Affairs Department to be vaccinated for the coronavirus or face dismissal.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday the Biden administration would continue discussing additional options to make sure more people were getting vaccinated.
“It is certainly prudent for the federal government to be looking at any steps, just like any employer is, to your point, of how we can incentivize people get — for getting vaccinated, protect more people, save more lives,” she said.
The Biden administration may be preparing to announce more vaccine mandates as well as defend private companies for setting similar demands for their employees.
The Department of Justice released a legal opinion Tuesday arguing that the Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization of the vaccines “does not prohibit public or private entities from imposing vaccine requirements.”