Joe Biden Frustrated by Opposition to Vaccine Mandates: ‘I Don’t Quite Get This’

US President Joe Biden gestures after delivering remarks following a tour at the Clayco construction site in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, October 7, 2021. - Biden traveled to Chicago to promote the importance of Covid-19 vaccine requirements for all workers. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

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.

Protestors opposed to coronavirus vaccine mandates and vaccine passports by the government rally at City Hall in New York City on August 25, 2021. (Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images)

Protestors opposed to coronavirus vaccine mandates and vaccine passports by the government rally at City Hall in New York City on August 25, 2021. (Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images)

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.

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 27: U.S. President Joe Biden receives a third dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in the South Court Auditorium in the White House September 27, 2021 in Washington, DC. Last week President Biden announced that Americans 65 and older and frontline workers who received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine over six months ago would be eligible for booster shots. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 27: U.S. President Joe Biden receives a third dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in the South Court Auditorium in the White House September 27, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

“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.

The White House

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.

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