President Joe Biden said cops and first responders who refuse the Covid-19 vaccine should be fired and left destitute as punishment, during a CNN town hall on Thursday.
“Yes and yes!” Biden said as the Democrat-supporting crowd erupted into a round of applause.
“By the way, I waited until July, to talk about mandating, because I tried everything else possible.”
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“Mandates are working.”
Dailymail.co.uk reports: A series of mandates for federal workers and for companies with more than 100 staff triggered angry protests and reports of people being fired or resigning in protest.
‘Two things that concern me,’ he said. ‘One, are those who just try to make this a political issue – freedom. “I have the freedom to kill you with my COVID.”
Then he criticized what he called ‘misinformation’ about the death of former Secretary of State Colin Powell that focused on the fact he was fully vaccinated.
‘Well he knew he had serious underlying conditions, and it would be difficult,’ said Biden.
‘He clearly would have been gone earlier had he not gotten the vaccine.’
At the start of the night he was quizzed on his plans for a multi trillion dollar social spending plan, which is currently deadlocked in Washington.
Progressives want to push through a massive overhaul of social spending while centrists – Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin – are pushing to reduce the price of the bill from its original $3.4 trillion.
Biden offered the centrists a concession, backing away from a corporate tax hike to pay for his Build Back Better agenda.
Host Anderson Cooper pressed him on whether he would be able to push through a proposed increase in corporate take to help fund trillions of dollars in new spending.
‘No, I don’t think we’re going to be able to get the votes,’ he said.
He had wanted an increase in the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent for the biggest companies, triggering warnings that it could hamper growth and that the costs would be passed on to workers and consumers.
The event, in front of an invited audience, was a chance to deliver his message directly to the public while his own party remains split.
He immediately faced questions about whether he could bring around the holdouts in his own party, particularly Manchin, but expressed optimism that he was close to deal after weeks of intra-party bickering.
‘I think so, you know, look … I was a senator for 370 years,’ he said triggering laughter.
‘I was relatively good at putting together deals.’
Manchin, he added, would fall into line.
‘Joe’s not a bad guy,’ said Biden. ‘He’s a friend and he’s always the end of the day come around.’
But he pushed back at one of Manchin’s proposals that parents and other caregivers meet a work requirement before receiving a child tax credit.
‘No, here’s the deal. All these people are working anyway,’ he said, as he signaled that he wanted to target the wealthy.
‘And by the way, you know, why should somebody who is not working, and has, you know, makes has a million dollar trust fund, why should they get the benefit?’
Overall, he said, the aim was to get the bill done and worry about what had been left out later.
‘I’m prepared to do the things that we can get done now, that can begin to change the lives of ordinary Americans to give them a fighting chance and come back and try to get others later,’ he said.
As Biden seeks a final agreement in coming days, questions have emerged about whether some of his most oft-cited promises, like raising taxes on corporations and wealthy Americans might have to be dropped to ensure passage of the spending bill
Biden also explained that he had reduced his vision for paid parental leave.
‘It is down to four weeks,’ he said. ‘I can’t get 12 weeks.’