Biden: 'My Job As President Is to Protect All Americans'

Susan Jones | September 10, 2021 | 5:34am EDT
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President Biden has run out of patience with those who refuse his insistence on getting vaccinated. (Photo: Screen capture)
President Biden has run out of patience with those who refuse his insistence on getting vaccinated. (Photo: Screen capture)

( - "My job as President is to protect all Americans," including the 80 million who are "blocking public health" by refusing to get vaccinated, President Joe Biden said in his Thursday afternoon lecture on combating COVID.

This is the same president who refuses to protect the southwest border and who has put U.S. national security at risk by allowing the Taliban free reign in Afghanistan amid a botched U.S. troop withdrawal.

"Many of us are frustrated with the nearly 80 million Americans who are still not vaccinated, even though the vaccine is safe, effective, and free," Biden said. "We need to do more. This is not about freedom or personal choice. It's about protecting yourself and those around you..."

Biden criticized unvaccinated Americans who are causing "a lot of damage"; he showed empathy for vaccinated Americans who are "doing the right thing" -- even as he mused about coming "together as a country."

At the end of his remarks, Biden stalked away from the podium without taking a single question about his plan to force vaccinations on reluctant Americans -- something he once said he'd never do.

In December 2020, as president-elect, Joe Biden said that COVID vaccinations and masks should not be mandated by the government.

The president on Thursday repeated that we're experiencing "a pandemic of the unvaccinated":

And it's caused by the fact that despite America having unprecedented and successful vaccination program, despite the fact that for almost five months, free vaccines have been available in 80,000 different locations, we still have nearly 80 million Americans who have failed to get the shot.

And to make matters worse, there are elected officials actively working to undermine the fight against COVID-19. Instead of encouraging people to get vaccinated, to mask up, they're ordering mobile morgues for the unvaccinated dying from COVID in their communities. This is totally unacceptable. Third, if you wonder how all this adds up, here's the math.

The vast majority of Americans are doing the right thing. Nearly three-quarters of the eligible have gotten at least one shot, but one quarter has not gotten any. That's nearly 80 million Americans not vaccinated and a country as large as ours, that's 25 percent minority. That 25 percent can cause a lot of damage, and they are.

The unvaccinated, overcrowd our hospitals, are overrunning emergency rooms, and intensive care units, leaving no room for someone with a heart attack, or pancreatitis, or cancer. And fourth, I want to emphasize that the vaccines provide very strong protection from severe illness from COVID-19. I know there's a lot of confusion and misinformation, but the world's leading scientists confirm that if you are fully vaccinated, your risk of severe illness from COVID-19 is very low.

In fact, based on available data from the summer, only one out of every 160,000 fully vaccinated Americans was hospitalized for COVID per day. These are the facts. So here's where we stand. The path ahead, even with the delta variant, is not nearly as bad as last winter. What makes it incredibly more frustrating is we have the tools to combat COVID-19, and a distinct minority of Americans supported by a distinct minority of elected officials are keeping us from turning the corner.

These pandemic politics I refer to are making people sick, causing unvaccinated people to die. We cannot allow these actions to stand in the way of protecting the large majority of Americans who have done their part, who want to get back to life as normal.

Biden announced a "new plan" to force more Americans to be vaccinated -- "to combat those blocking public health."

He said the Labor Department is developing an emergency rule requiring all employers with 100 or more employees "to ensure their workforces are fully vaccinated or show a negative test at least once a week."

"We're going to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by increasing the share of the workforce that is vaccinated in businesses all across America," he said.

Biden said he has the authority to require all hospital workers, home health care workers and others in the health care field to get vaccinated.

He's also signing an executive order requiring "all executive branch federal employees to be vaccinated," along with all federal contractors.

Biden also appealed to sports arenas, concert halls, movie theaters and other entertainment venues to require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test as a condition of entry. And he urged all governors to require vaccination for all teachers and staff.

"Over 200 million Americans have gotten at least one shot," Biden said. "We've been patient, but our patience is wearing thin and your refusal has cost all of us. So, please, do the right thing," he told the unvaccinated.

"Get vaccinated!" he whispered into the microphone before leaving the room.

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