President Joe Biden said Thursday that first responders and police officers who refuse vaccine mandates should be forced to remain at home or be fired.
Biden issued vaccine mandates or weekly testing for private companies with 100 or more employees in early September. The president also announced a stricter vaccine requirement for federal workers and contractors in September that limited the loophole for unvaccinated individuals.
Other mandates have been put in place across the country by cities. Police officers and first responders across the country – including in places like Chicago and Washington – have voiced opposition to the mandates, with some leaving the job over it.
“As many as one-in-three emergency responders in some cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, right here in Baltimore, are refusing to comply with city vaccine mandates,” Cooper noted Thursday. “I’m wondering where you stand on that. Should police officers, emergency responders be mandated to get vaccines? And if not, should they be – stay at home or let go?”
Biden responded quickly by saying “yes and yes.”
“By the way … I waited until July to talk about mandating because I tried everything else possible,” the president continued. “The mandates are working.” (RELATED: ‘The Choice Is Yours’: In Line With CDC’s Mask Guidance, Biden Gives Americans An Ultimatum On Vaccines)
Biden pointed to pushback from airlines on vaccine mandates and noted that despite it, the majority “have gotten the vaccine.” He said talk of people leaving the military over mandates is “not true” and criticized those trying “to make this a political issue.”
“‘Freedom,'” Biden mocked as he described his concerns around the issue of mandates. “‘I have the freedom to kill you with my COVID.’ No, I mean come on. Freedom. Number one. Number two … the gross misinformation that’s out there.”
Biden reiterated that there’s “so much misinformation” and ended the answer by pointing out Fox News’ vaccine rules, which require employees to upload their vaccination status or be tested. He said he finds it “fascinating” and joked that he’s at “3% favorability” at the network.
“I find that mildly fascinating. Mildly fascinating,” Biden said.