While announcing sweeping new vaccine mandates that include an executive order requiring all federal employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19, President Biden on Thursday took aim at the unvaccinated amid surging cases of the coronavirus nationwide due to the highly contagious delta variant.
“We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin,” Biden said. “And your refusal has cost all of us.”
Without listing names, Biden called out the elected officials who are “undermining the fight” against the pandemic.
“Instead of encouraging people to get vaccinated and mask up, they’re ordering mobile morgues for the unvaccinated dying from COVID in their communities. This is totally unacceptable.”
Although the current spike in COVID-19 rates isn’t as dire as the pandemic’s peak last year, Biden expressed his frustration with the “minority of elected officials” who are playing “pandemic politics” by failing to enforce COVID-19 mitigation strategies that would help reduce the spread of the infectious disease that has killed more than 600,000 Americans thus far.
“A distinct minority of Americans, supported by a distinct minority of elected officials, are keeping us from turning the corner,” Biden said. “These pandemic politics, as I refer to it, are making people sick, causing unvaccinated people to die.”
Biden’s remarks were issued as the White House released an 11-page memo on Thursday titled “Path Out of the Pandemic,” which includes the President’s new plan of directing the Labor Department to require that all businesses with 100 or more employees ensure their workers are either vaccinated or tested once a week.
The President’s new vaccine mandates demonstrate his most hardline approach yet to the slog the country is facing in combating COVID-19.
In July, Biden announced that all federal employees and on-site contractors will be required to get vaccinated against the coronavirus or will have to wear masks and undergo repeated testing.
On Thursday, Biden said that the executive order he would sign requiring federal employees to get vaccinated would provide no option for those who would rather get regularly tested instead.
Watch Biden’s remarks below: