Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s lead immunologist, said this week President Joe Biden was “trying to be moderate” when he announced new COVID-19 mandates for federal and private sector employees around the country.
In an interview Thursday with CNN hosts Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Fauci responded to an inquiry from the network’s chief medical correspondent who asked why Biden included an “off-ramp” to his vaccine mandate, which is that employees who don’t want to get the jab would be subjected to weekly testing, instead of just requiring the shots, period.
“I think the president is being somewhat moderate in his demand, if you want to call it that, in that there are some people who really don’t want to get vaccinated, but they don’t want to lose their job,” Fauci said. “You’ve got to give them an off-lane. And the off-lane is if you get tested frequently enough and find out you’re positive you won’t come to work and you won’t infect other people.
“So it really is somewhat of a compromise there,” he continued. “Myself, I would just make it, vaccinate or not, but he was trying to be moderate in what his pronouncement was.”
More than a dozen Republican governors and state officials, as well as many congressional Republicans, took Biden’s pronouncements as mandates and vowed to fight them in court.
In addition, Biden appeared to blame the 80 million or so unvaccinated Americans for the new requirements.
Ohio Senate Candidate J.D. Vance Calls for "Mass Civil Disobedience" in Response to Joe Biden's Tyrannical Mandates https://t.co/OqrrrxqHFc
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) September 10, 2021
“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 Thursday.
“This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. And it’s caused by the fact that despite America having an 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,” Biden added.
Under Biden’s order, the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will be issuing rules that require all businesses with 100 or more employees to show proof of vaccination or be subjected to weekly COVID tests which must come back negative for them to remain on the job. Biden also said the all federal workers must be vaccinated, though that doesn’t include more than one-quarter of the federal workforce — the country’s 644,000 U.S. Postal Service workers.
WaPo reporter backtracks, says postal workers NOT exempt from federal vaccine mandate https://t.co/645tOR62zn pic.twitter.com/tBFQ8iYnJx
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) September 10, 2021
In his CNN interview, Fauci went on to say that Biden is “clearly frustrated” when it comes to battling the pandemic.
He also said he doesn’t “have a really firm answer” when asked why people who have had the virus should get the vaccine anyway following studies that show better immunity from recovery.
“That’s something we’re gonna have to discuss regarding the durability of the response,” he said.
Biden’s order was widely criticized including by former Vice President Mike Pence, who has remained largely silent about public policy since he was replaced by Kamala Harris.
“I have to tell you the president’s speech yesterday was unlike anything I had ever heard from an American president,” Pence said in a Friday interview with “Fox & Friends.”
“I mean, to have the president of the United States say that he has been patient but his patience is wearing thin. That’s not how the American people expect to be spoken to by our elected leaders,” the former VP noted further.
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