Pence blasts Biden's vaccine speech: 'Unlike anything I'd ever heard from an American president'
Former Vice President Mike Pence on Friday slammed President Biden's speech in which he expressed frustration at those who refuse to get vaccinated for COVID-19.
"I have to tell you the president’s speech yesterday was unlike anything I'd ever heard from an American president," Pence said on "Fox & Friends."
On Thursday, Biden announced six measures intended to increase coronavirus vaccination rates, which have slowed in recent months, allowing the Delta variant to spread. The measures included a requirement that all federal employees and contractors get vaccinated, with no exemptions.
Biden also announced that companies with more than 100 employees must require their workers to get vaccinated, with some exceptions, or face weekly testing — a move that conservatives have criticized as government overreach.
“We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin,” Biden said in a speech from the White House, making clear that he blamed the unvaccinated for the current surge. “And your refusal has cost all of us.”
Pence, who led the White House coronavirus task force under President Donald Trump, bristled at Biden's frustration.
"I mean, to have the president of the United States say that he has been patient but his patience is wearing thin — that’s not how the American people expect to be spoken to by our elected leaders," Pence said.
The Trump administration led the development of the coronavirus vaccines through Operation Warp Speed, but Trump has been criticized for his tepid promotion of the vaccines, especially following his loss to Biden in the 2020 election.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just 53.4 percent of Americans are fully vaccinated.
The vast majority of the people who have become seriously ill in recent months have not been vaccinated; the coronavirus vaccines are highly effective at preventing serious illness and death.
More than 654,000 Americans have died from complications related to COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University, and more than 40 million have been infected.
In his speech Thursday, Biden also called out governors for playing “pandemic politics” by resisting mask mandates and downplaying the power of vaccines.
Pence, the former governor of Indiana, criticized Biden for those remarks too.
"We got governors across the country what they needed when they needed it, and we respected them to make the decisions best for their state," Pence said. "And now to have a president not just scolding the American people but scolding governors around the country. It just is not the American way."
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