President Joe Biden said Tuesday that unvaccinated Americans are “not nearly as smart” as those who’ve received the jab, amid the possibility that his administration mandates vaccines for all federal employees.
Biden decided to call out unvaccinated Americans when asked whether he’d consider instituting a mask and vaccine mandate across federal agencies. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced its own vaccine mandate Monday.
“That’s under consideration right now, but if you’re not vaccinated, you’re not nearly as smart as I thought you were,” the president said. (RELATED: Psaki Won’t Say Whether Biden Favors Implementing Restrictions For Unvaccinated Americans)
Biden is reportedly expected to announce Thursday that all federal employees receive vaccines or submit to regular testing and measures to prevent the spread of the virus, according to CNN, citing an unnamed source.
A new Axios/Ipsos poll released Wednesday morning found that 30% of Republicans are “not very likely” to get the vaccine while 45% are “not at all likely” to get the jab. Democrats were only 33% “very or somewhat likely to get vaccinated.” Meanwhile, 45% of Independents were “very or somewhat likely to get vaccinated” while 50% of independents were “not very likely.”
The survey was conducted between May 7 and July 19 among 1,532 adults with a +/- 1.5% margin of error.
An Associated Press-NORC poll found that among unvaccinated adults, 35% said they would probably not get the vaccine while 45% said they would definitely not. The poll also found that 64% of unvaccinated Americans believe the vaccine is ineffective against variants.
A recent study from Israel’s Health Ministry found Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine is only 39% effective against the delta variant within the nation, but still offers protection from severe symptoms and hospitalization, CNBC reported.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its mask guidance Tuesday, advising fully-vaccinated Americans to wear a mask “in areas with substantial and high transmission.” The agency also recommended students K-12 wear masks in schools regardless of vaccination status.
Children are unlikely to experience severe symptoms from the coronavirus, according to the Mayo Clinic, citing the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association to show that children represent only 13% of all COVID-19 cases. “While all children are capable of getting the virus that causes COVID-19, they don’t become sick as often as adults. Most children have mild symptoms or no symptoms,” the clinic’s staff wrote.
Of course, children can still experience severe symptoms, particularly those with underlying conditions. However, most children are at an “extremely low risk,” according to the BBC.
The CDC guidance and push for vaccinations comes as the U.S. sees a rise in Delta variant cases. Former CDC Director Tom Frieden claimed the U.S. could see “as many as 200,000 cases” of the Delta variant a day. The Delta variant represents about 83% of new cases, with 97% of severe cases among unvaccinated Americans, according to Reuters.
However, Dr. Monica Gandhi, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, told the Daily Caller that “[The Delta variant] doesn’t seem to cause more severe disease and vaccines are still effective against this variant.” She also noted that “It seems as if public health officials are trying to motivate vaccine uptake by discussing the Delta variant in these terms.”