President Joe Biden said police officers and emergency workers who refuse COVID-19 vaccination should stay home or be fired, as he answered questions during a CNN town hall on Thursday evening.
‘Yes and yes,’ he said to a thunderous round of applause.
‘By the way, I waited until July, to talk about mandating, because I tried everything else possible.
‘Mandates are working.’
Biden traveled to Baltimore for the town hall, where he delivered his most wide-ranging update yet on talks to break the deadlock on his mammoth social spending plans.
His $3.4 trillion program and a smaller infrastructure plan are held up amid divisions between centrists and progressives.
In a headline-packed 90 minutes, he said he was dropping proposals to pay for the spending with a corporate tax hike, that he was considering sending in the National Guard to ease supply chain problems, and would defend Taiwan if it was attacked.
Chris Magnus deflected important questions about the current state of America’s southern border as senators tried to get strait answers from him about the crisis.
But he also defended his stance on vaccine mandates in uncompromising terms.
The U.S. has lagged behind other wealthy nations in vaccinating people against COVID-19.
A series of mandates for federal workers and for companies with more than 100 staff triggered angry protests and reports of people being fired or resigning in protest.
‘Two things that concern me,’ he said. ‘One, are those who just try to make this a political issue – freedom. “I have the freedom to kill you with my COVID.”
Then he criticized what he called ‘misinformation’ about the death of former Secretary of State Colin Powell that focused on the fact he was fully vaccinated.
‘Well he knew he had serious underlying conditions, and it would be difficult,’ said Biden.