President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House on Thursday in Washington, D.C. (Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images)
By Kipp Jones September 11, 2021 at 1:04pm
President Joe Biden on Friday delivered remarks touting unity the day before the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Those comments came just a day after he scolded millions of Americans for declining to get vaccinated, telling them “your refusal has cost all of us.”
“Unity is what makes us who we are — America at its best,” Biden said in pre-recorded remarks posted on social media. “To me, that’s the central lesson of Sept. 11.
“It’s that at our most vulnerable, in the push and pull of all that makes us human, in the battle for the soul of America, unity is our greatest strength.
“Unity doesn’t mean we have to believe the same thing. But we must have a fundamental respect and faith in each other and in this nation,” he said.
20 years after September 11, 2001, we commemorate the 2,977 lives we lost and honor those who risked and gave their lives. As we saw in the days that followed, unity is our greatest strength. It’s what makes us who we are — and we can’t forget that. pic.twitter.com/WysK8m3LAb
— President Biden (@POTUS) September 10, 2021
Biden also referred to the national unity seen in the days after 9/11 — unity that has since been strained.
Do you think Democrats want to unify America?
“We saw a national unity bend, and we learned that unity is the one thing that must never break,” he said.
Some found the words difficult to reconcile with comments Biden had made the day before.
On Thursday, the president lashed out at the millions of Americans who have not received the COVID-19 vaccine while announcing a vaccine mandate for all businesses with more than 100 employees.
“My message to unvaccinated Americans is this: What more is there to wait for? What more do you need to see?” Biden asked in a speech from the White House.
“What more is there to wait for? What more to do you need to see?”
Pres. Joe Biden urges unvaccinated Americans to get vaccinated: “We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin and your refusal has cost all of us.” https://t.co/sJbdMAvu3F pic.twitter.com/B4GNtG3X78
— ABC News (@ABC) September 9, 2021
“The vaccine has FDA approval. Over 200 million Americans have gotten at least one shot,” he said.
Biden’s next comments were anything but unifying.
“We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin,” he warned. “And your refusal has cost all of us.”
Biden called on unvaccinated Americans to “do the right thing.”
“But just don’t take it from me; listen to the voices of unvaccinated Americans who are lying in hospital beds, taking their final breaths, saying, ‘If only I had gotten vaccinated.’”