One day after announcing his ambitious plan for more Americans to get vaccinated, President Joe Biden, on Friday, Sept. 10, remarked that lawsuit threats from Republicans would not change his tact.
“Have at it,” Biden said as a reporter asked for his opinion on the issue with Republicans threatening to challenge his vaccine policies legally.
“I am so disappointed that, particularly some Republican governors, have been so cavalier with the health of these kids, so cavalier with the health of their communities,” the President added.
Since taking office, the President had always been conscious of the COVID-19 protocols recommended by federal health agencies and would not think of lifting mask mandates and other restrictions until the agencies voice it.
“We’re playing for real here, this isn’t a game. And I don’t know of any scientist out there in this field that doesn’t think it makes considerable sense to do the six things I’ve suggested,” the President noted.
Several hours later, the President, on a rare occasion, took to Twitter and stressed the masks requirement for travelers.
“The Transportation Safety Administration will double the fines on travelers who refuse to mask,” he wrote. “If you break the rules, be prepared to pay.”
The Democrat President had been relatively soft in his push for vaccination amid rocketing rates of new COVID-19 infections in June. But his tone gradually changed as cases continued to soar alongside new deaths.
Compared to the same time last year, the U.S. is seeing around 300% more new COVID-19 infections daily, roughly two-and-a-half times more hospitalizations, and nearly twice as many deaths, the Associated Press reports.
While conflicts for and against vaccine mandate had not subsided even with the Delta variant rampaging the U.S., President Biden on Thursday imposed stringent new vaccine policies and testing that would affect more than 100 million Americans.
“We’ve been patient,” he said, per AP. “But our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us.”
Private-sector employees, as well as healthcare personnel and federal contractors, would be affected by the new federal immunization mandates.
The President’s more aggressive attitude about facing the pandemic had prompted unwilling Republicans, who are resolute on freedom of choice, to consider lawsuits.
Although available vaccines against COVID-19 in the U.S. had been touted for being able to fend off severe illnesses and reduce risks of death in the case of breakthrough infections, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had admitted the shots can still cause severe side-effects in a small proportion of recipients, including blood clots and heart inflammation.
Deaths associated with these side effects had also emerged worldwide, including the U.S., but the rates had been said to be insignificant.