President Joe Biden is greeted by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, and Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago on Thursday before Biden’s speech at a Chicago-area construction site. (Susan Walsh / AP)
By C. Douglas Golden October 11, 2021 at 6:03am
If you’ve heard one speech from President Joe Biden on vaccine mandates, it feels like you’ve heard them all. However, it only feels that way.
Thursday’s Biden speech at the Clayco Inc. data center in Elk Grove, Illinois, for instance, raised a few eyebrows — although not for all the reasons it should have. Mind you, there were plenty of obvious reasons for eyebrow-raising involved.
The construction site where Biden was giving the address just happened to be owned by a major Democratic donor, one who gave over $137,000 to Biden’s presidential campaign and bundled over $100,000 in other donations, according to Fox Business. That didn’t exactly make ol’ Lunch Pail Joe, the blue-collar guy who swears he’s never been in the pocket of the mega-donors or fat cats, look good.
He also didn’t look good giving the speech. You want gaffes? You got gaffes:
Biden mixes up “television” and says “telephone” instead. pic.twitter.com/o3ucvHOAjW
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) October 7, 2021
What is Biden saying? pic.twitter.com/WZUKD4RDX8
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) October 7, 2021
However, even when he wasn’t gaffing, Biden should have raised eyebrows as well.
Do you support vaccine mandates?
As you can probably guess, the president was in Elk Grove Village to promote his vaccine mandate for private employers — which doesn’t quite exist yet, despite the president’s promise last month that the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration would fine any company with over 100 employees that didn’t require vaccines status or test unvaccinated employees for COVID-19 once a week.
“The Labor Department is going to shortly issue an emergency rule — which I asked for several weeks ago, and they’re going through the process — to require all [employers] with more than 100 people, whether they work for the federal government or not — this is within … the purview of the Labor Department — to ensure their workers are fully vaccinated or face testing at least once a week,” Biden said, according to a White House transcript of the speech.
There were other aspects to Biden’s vaccine mandates, however, including requiring health care workers at facilities that receive certain federal funds and military members to get the vaccine. Touting that part of his plan, however, is where Biden proved he was either lying or absolutely clueless.
Biden told those assembled that “we know there is no other way to beat the pandemic than to get the vast majority of Americans vaccinated. It’s as simple as that.”
“And to — to spread to our children, to spread throughout society and at our hospitals the risk of other variants — it’s all dangerous and obvious, but we’re still not there,” he continued, according to the transcript.
“We have to beat this thing. So, while I didn’t race to do it right away, that’s why I’ve had to move toward requirements that everyone get vaccinated or I had the authority to do that. That wasn’t my first instinct.
“My administration is now requiring federal workers to be vaccinated. We’ve also required federal contractors to be vaccinated. If you have a contract with the federal government, working for the federal government, you have to be vaccinated,” he continued.
“We’re requiring active-duty military to be vaccinated. We’re making sure health care workers are vaccinated, because if you seek care at a health care facility, you should have the certainty that the pro- — the people providing that care are protected from COVID and cannot spread it to you.” [Emphasis ours.]
At least on COVID, the problem faced by the president and his administration can be summed up in one sentence: They’ve overpromised and underdelivered.
They promised a smooth vaccine rollout. Instead, the acrimony and distrust sown by Democrats and Republicans alike during the last presidential cycle has made that impossible. They promised explosive employment growth and economic expansion; each new jobs report creates more unease and more excuses. We were told the light at the end of the tunnel was just around the bend. We’re now being told, well, OK, there might be a few more bends before we see the light.
With that history, why on earth would the president say health care workers “are protected from COVID and cannot spread it to you” because they’ve had the vaccine?
That’s either a lie, a silly exaggeration or gross cluelessness. Even in the early days of the vaccine, when the administration could boast of 90 percent efficacy in preventing the virus, there still remained the possibility of infection — and the possibility a vaccinated individual could pass it along, as well.
That’s especially true now that the delta variant is the dominant form of COVID-19. According to Healthline, studies have found that, in some cases, vaccines are less than 40 percent effective at preventing infection with the delta variant.
Don’t mistake what I’m saying here: The vaccines work. They’ve helped prevent serious illness and death, especially among vulnerable populations. For vulnerable frontline medical workers, they’re a potent tool. However, they don’t completely prevent infection and they don’t completely prevent transmission.
The president knows that, his advisers know that and — given that fact has been drummed into our head ad nauseam over the past few months — those watching at home know that.
Was this a mistake? While Thursday’s speech was a farrago of errors the Biden camp would probably sooner forget, that specific line sounds as if it were delivered as written.
Whatever the case, however, it’s either a lie or proof the administration is stunningly naïve regarding the vaccines and what Americans know about them. The president and his handlers are breaking faith with voters by pretending we’re all this dumb.