At a Wednesday address in San Francisco, President Joe Biden strongly criticized Americans for avoiding getting updated doses against new coronavirus variants and disregarding conversations regarding vaccinations.
At the Fairmont San Francisco Hotel in San Francisco, California, Biden began his speech by speaking about vaccines before delving into America’s efforts on artificial intelligence for scientific research and medical applications.
Biden opened his speech claiming that it has “disturbed” him that the federal government has not paid attention to “investments in science and technology” over the past 30 years, according to the White House transcript of the event.
“We used to lead the world” in research and development in science and technology, he said. U.S. spending on such things has fallen from 2 percent of Gross Domestic Product to only .07 percent, Biden noted.
He added, “And I don’t know how we can be the safest, most secure, and healthiest nation in the world without significant investment in — in science and technology.”
The president then encouraged everyone to discuss the necessity of this investment in research. This prompted him to address so-called ‘vaccine deniers’.
“And one of those areas — you saw what happened with regard to the crisis — health crisis that we had that cost us,” Biden exclaimed. “We lost well over a million people. And as time began to move on, you had more and more voices saying, ‘No, no, no. You don’t need to get that shot. You don’t need to be — get — you don’t need to.’
“And we have a new strain of COVID now, and we have answers for it. But I just would urge those in public life and both political parties or no political party to be cautious about the ac- — the sometimes inflammatory things you say about this, because people’s lives are at stake,” he railed.
The World Health Organization estimates that 1,127,152 Americans have passed away due to COVID-19. This figure may be too high as reports of data manipulation were reported early on during the pandemic. Even so, this number is still lower than the one million American fatalities from drug overdoses since 1999, with 106,700 having died from opioids in 2021 alone.
Despite Joe Biden’s lack of attention to the opioid and fentanyl crisis, serious-minded border, drug and law enforcement policies could help reduce the issue. Furthermore, even with the widespread promotion of vaccines during the pandemic years, death rates from COVID in the U.S. remain high.
In 2022, The New York Times reported that the U.S. had higher COVID death counts than other wealthy countries, even though 81.82 percent of its population had already received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to Johns Hopkins – placing it in the “above world average” category.
Many governments around the world, including in the United States, attempted to coerce their citizens into taking the vaccine through extreme measures. These tactics included threats of lost jobs, freedom, education and futures for those who did not comply. People were prevented from attending school or eating at restaurants and some were even fired if they refused the shot.
The Biden administration has demonstrated its willingness to use federal power to push for vaccines, with thousands of US soldiers being relieved from service if they refused the vaccine, closing government offices, and introducing mandatory vaccine policies in Washington DC.
This appears to be less about preventing disease and more of an effort to exert power, indicating Biden’s frustration at not having the same coercive powers other nations had during the pandemic panic.
Erica Carlin is an independent journalist, opinion writer and contributor to several news and opinion sources. She is based in Georgia.