by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
If you want to understand President Joe Biden’s motives, look no further than White House chief of staff Ron Klain’s Twitter feed.
Less than an hour after Biden ordered his Labor Department to issue a nationwide vaccine mandate in the workplace, Klain tweeted, “What leadership looks like,” over a picture of the New York Times’s coverage of Biden’s speech.
That was the whole point of the speech — to show Biden acting like a leader on an issue important to New York Times readers. It had nothing to do with convincing the unvaccinated to get vaccinated. We can tell by Biden’s rhetoric.
Biden blamed the unvaccinated for taking up hospital beds for vaccinated cancer and heart attack patients. He outright accused them of killing other unvaccinated Americans. “We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin,” Biden yelled. “And your refusal has cost all of us.” If only Biden had been so tough on the Taliban.
These threats and this derision might be worth it if there was any chance they would actually cause the unvaccinated to get vaccinated. But they won’t. Last week, an ABC News poll asked unvaccinated Americans what they would do if their employer made them choose between getting vaccinated and quitting their job. Just 18% said they would get vaccinated while 72% said they would quit.
And with a record-high 10.9 million jobs currently open, a wave of new job quits is the last thing the economy needs right now. Worse, the White House seemingly hasn’t considered exactly who the unvaccinated are. According to the Census Bureau, almost 25% of them live in households making under $25,000 a year. Over half live in households earning less than $50,000 a year. And Biden wants to fire all these people? Where is the compassion?
Moreover, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, black and Hispanic communities have far lower vaccination rates than white communities. Where is the concern for “equity?”