Democrat nominee Joe Biden confirmed on Thursday that he is open to instituting a national COVID-19 vaccine mandate if he is elected president.
Biden also affirmed that he is planning a national mask-wearing mandate by requiring all state governors to issue an order to wear masks to their residents.
Biden warns America
America has labored under strict and often poorly-supported precautionary measures against COVID-19 for months, and the Biden campaign has indicated that if the former vice president is elected, those measures will be multiplied and for much longer.
During Thursday’s town hall with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Biden said in regard to a vaccine requirement: “I would think that we should be talking about — depending on the continuation of the spread of the virus — we should be thinking about making it.”
“Depending on how clear — there’s vaccines, they say, have a very positive impact and they gonna affect positively 85 percent of the American public. Or there’s others that say this vaccine is really the key. This is the golden key,” Biden continued. “It depends on the state of the nature of the vaccine when it comes out and how it’s being distributed.”
Biden went on to admit that such a vaccine mandate is likely to be unenforceable, but did imply that there are measures he would consider taking to add to the pressure to comply with the mandate.
Biden has abandoned the idea of a direct national mask mandate, admitting that it’s unconstitutional, but said that he would “go to every governor and get them all in a room, all 50 of them as president and ask people to wear a mask.”
If governors refuse to bend to his will, Biden said he would “go to every mayor, go to every councilman, go to every local official” and order them to “mandate the mask.”
The Biden campaign’s totalitarian leanings are not likely to be popular in practice, though his support of such onerous requirements hasn’t gotten much media attention.
However, according to a recent Gallup poll, the share of Americans willing to get the coronavirus vaccine is steadily dropping as time goes on. The survey, conducted in late September, found that 50 percent of Americans are likely to get the COVID-19 vaccine — down 11 points from August when 61 percent said they would consider getting the vaccine.
This may be due to a distrust of the pharmaceutical industry combined with an oddly anti-vaccine media campaign that is aimed to curry distrust of the forthcoming vaccine simply because Donald Trump has touted it in the past.
A Hill-HarrisX poll found in August that 82 percent of Americans support a national mask mandate, but little data since then has been collected on the popularity of the notion. Judging by Americans’ support for the vaccine over the last several months, the Biden campaign shouldn’t assume that Americans are willing to jump aboard that train either.