Wednesday, 27 October, 2021

Joe Biden Speech on COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements Illinois Transcript


President Joe Biden spoke about the importance of COVID-19 vaccine requirements in Illinois on October 7, 2021. He was joined by Gov. Pritzker and Mayor Lightfoot. Read the transcript of the speech briefing here.

Governor Pritzker: (00:00)
Thank you, Mr. President, for your courageous leadership during this pandemic. The president couldn’t have picked a better place than Illinois to witness the rising tide of economic recovery in construction, advanced manufacturing, in agriculture, the innovation economy, clean energy and more. We are proudly the most vaccinated state in the Midwest. And thanks to the partners that we have, like Clayco, a longtime vocal advocate of the life saving power of vaccination, thousands more Illinoisans are getting their first shot each day.

Governor Pritzker: (00:44)
As the Delta wave has made all the more clear, to exit this pandemic, inventing lifesaving vaccines isn’t enough. We have to actually use them. Getting vaccinated is the right thing to do for ourselves and for each other. Vaccinations are helping to keep our schools and our businesses open. They are the way out of this pandemic and back to normalcy in every aspect of our lives. And although millions more need to do their part, thanks to the president’s leadership and the commitment of people across Illinois and the nation, we’re making real progress. In fact, just today, I announced two additional agreements with organized labor requiring vaccines for state workers who care for our veterans and for our most vulnerable.

Governor Pritzker: (01:36)
I’m proud to have their partnership as we promote safe, proven, and free vaccinations that will restore normalcy to our communities, our lives, and most crucially allow us to maintain our healthcare system’s ability to care for anyone who walks through their doors in need of help. As we begin to see signs of improvement in our COVID-19 trajectory, every unvaccinated American has a choice to make. We can prepare for more tragic, senseless loss of life in the months to come, or we can get vaccinated. There’s really not much debate about what the right choice is. So roll up your sleeves and get your first shot and your flu shot, and if you’re eligible for a second shot or a booster shot, don’t wait. America needs you now. This is about freedom from the virus. Getting vaccinated is among the most patriotic things that you can do. Thank you, and now it’s my great pleasure to introduce the mayor of the great city of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot.

Lori Lightfoot: (02:47)
Thank you, Governor, and thank you all for being here, and I want to give a hearty thanks to our members of the federal congressional delegation, all the work that you’ve done to make sure that we are getting our fair share of resources, but also your incredible leadership during these difficult times. I want to recognize Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton and Senate President Don Harmon. Thank you all for your leadership.

Lori Lightfoot: (03:17)
We have a once in a generation opportunity to make transformative change in American lives. This moment is big and demands bold action because lives literally are hanging in the balance. Build Back Better is not just a catchy slogan. It’s a value statement and one that I wholeheartedly embrace. But all these things will be for not if we don’t heed the advice and the leadership of our president and our public health leadership as well. We’ve got to get people vaccinated.

Lori Lightfoot: (03:57)
It is, as the governor just said, the most patriotic thing that can be done. The vaccine is safe, it is free, and now it is widely available. We just recently announced in the city of Chicago a new initiative around the vaccine called Protect Chicago 77, representing our 77 neighborhoods. Our challenge, but our opportunity, is to make sure that not a single one of our neighborhoods is left behind. And we’ve made great progress, and I’m proud to say that we lead the nation in the most equitable vaccine distribution policy in the country. But we still have more to do and we need partnership with all of the people that are here.

Lori Lightfoot: (04:42)
I want to thank Bob Reiter of the CFL for the incredible leadership that the CFL has done hosting one of the first vaccination clinics for organized labor in the country. But we have to roll up our sleeves and do more. It is senseless that every single day there are people lying in emergency rooms, in ICU beds, and they’re on the verge of death simply because they have not taken advantage of this life saving vaccine. So we need to heed the advice of the experts and we need to follow the advice of our president, and there’s so much that we can do together, but we’ll never be able to move forward unless we get this pandemic and the virus behind us.

Lori Lightfoot: (05:27)
So I urge everyone. If you haven’t taken advantage of this opportunity, please do so. The vaccine is widely available, and again, it is safe, proven safe over and over again, and it’s the thing that we can do to make sure that we move forward, that we get people back to work, and that we truly are able to embrace the president’s leadership around Build Back Better. And with that, I’d love to welcome a friend, a true advocate for the city of Chicago, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi.

Raja Krishnamoorthi: (05:59)
Thank you, Governor. Good afternoon. It’s an honor to be here and it’s an honor to be someplace they pronounce your name right. It’s a true story. When I first ran for office, I said, my name is Raja Krishnamoorthi and the person in Chicago looked right back at me and said, “Roger Christian Murphy.” And so it’s lovely to be here and from an Irishman by mispronunciation to an Irishman by ancestry, namely the President of the United States, I want to welcome him to the eighth district of Illinois. I want to observe those three rules of public speaking, be short, be sweet and be gone, and so I have three points that I want to make.

Raja Krishnamoorthi: (06:42)
First of all, can you give a big round of applause to the president for joining us today? His life story embodies goodness, grit and resilience, which are the very qualities that we need now more than ever to get through the pandemic. And I just want to thank him for bringing those qualities to the White House every single day because we need it now more than ever. Second point is, can you give a round of applause to the Governor for his tremendous leadership, Mayor Lightfoot, Mayor Johnson of Elk Grove Village, all of our state and local leaders, my congressional colleagues, men and women of labor, and of course the workers from Clayco. Give them a big round of applause, and their CEO, Bob Clark, for everything that they’ve done to stand up this beautiful data center in the eighth district, and we’re going to be so proud when it’s finished and to see the final results.

Raja Krishnamoorthi: (07:48)
The third and final point I want to make is this, which is today marks the start of Navaratri and the holiest month of Hinduism that leads to Diwali. During this time we celebrate light prevailing over darkness and knowledge prevailing over ignorance. In that spirit, here’s what we know about vaccines. One, they work, and two, vaccine requirements work. Since President Biden announced vaccine requirements less than one month ago. The number of people unvaccinated in this country went from 95 million down to 67 million, a drop of 30% of the unvaccinated population or 30 million people in one month alone. So in the words of the James Bond movie opening tonight, it’s no time to die. It’s time to get vaccinated. And I just want to thank the president for his clarion call to do just that. Thank you so much.

Speaker 1: (09:49)
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Jerry [Mizzo 00:09:52] and President Joe Biden.

Jerry Wenzel: (10:09)
Thank you. Thank you. Take your seats. Good afternoon, everyone.

Speaker 2: (10:14)
Good afternoon.

Jerry Wenzel: (10:14)
It is an honor to be here today to welcome President Joe Biden and to share his vision of getting everybody vaccinated, 100%. We would also like to acknowledge our distinguished guest: Governor Pritzker, Mayor Lightfoot, Mayor Johnson. Thank you.

Jerry Wenzel: (10:34)
I’m Jerry Wenzel, senior field operations manager for Clayco, a top design build firm here in America. I have been with Clayco for 23 years because of its core values, and its core values are treating others how you want to be treated, such a simple philosophy, building a diversified workforce, you see it amongst us now, and creating jobs within the communities that we work in around the country.

Jerry Wenzel: (11:02)
We are thrilled that you’re all here today at this Microsoft project, a realization of Mayor Johnson’s vision to creating jobs with a more prosperous and beautiful Elk Grove village. It looks fantastic. We thank all the people involved in this major project, especially all the hard union workers. I am also a proud union member, vested in 30 years in the union carpentry Local 250.

Jerry Wenzel: (11:32)
Safety is a top-

Jerry Wenzel: (11:34)
Thank you.

Jerry Wenzel: (11:39)
Safety is a top priority at Clayco. Some people say it, we live it every day. We are making sure everyone goes home to their loved ones safe, safer than they came here. Right? That’s our philosophy. We’re spouses, we’re sons, we’re daughters, we’re parents, and were grandparents on these jobs. In my case, like yours, Mr. President, I’m a grandfather of three young grandchildren who are not yet able to get vaccinated. We are all making personal choices to get vaccinated. Everyone has a different story. Thank you. My reason and my wife’s reason was for our grandchildren. Mr. President, thank you for making the safety of our workforce and our great country your top priority. On behalf of Clayco, Microsoft, Elk Grove Village and the city of Chicago, it is an honor of a lifetime to welcome President Joe Biden.

President Joe Biden: (12:51)
Jerry, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Mr. Mayor, thanks for the passport into town. I tell you every time I come to the greater Chicago area, there’s somebody I want to steal and bring back to Washington, Gov. I’ve done it a couple times.

President Joe Biden: (13:17)
At any rate, look, Jerry, every company needs people like you. Every single one. Someone who knows what my dad taught me and a lot of people who know me well, including the governor’s sister who I worked closely with for eight years, my dad used to have an expression, he used to say, “Everyone is entitled to be treated with dignity and Joey a job’s a hell of a lot more than about a paycheck. It’s about your dignity. It’s about your place in the community. It’s about being to look your kid in the eye and say, ‘Honey, everything’s going to be okay.’” That’s the God’s truth. He said ever since he lost, things went south in Scranton, Pennsylvania when I was a kid and coal shut down. My dad was not a coal miner. I had a great grandfather who was a coal miner engineer, but he was a salesperson. We moved down to Wilmington, Delaware, a little town called Claymont, a little steel town, where there’s no steel anymore, but right on the border of Pennsylvania. It was always about the dignity of work.

President Joe Biden: (14:22)
What you’ve been doing here about this pandemic is about protecting the dignity of your fellow Americans. You stayed in an operations mode, lining up protective equipment for the rest of the country, all around the country, and when the vaccine came out, you all stepped up and you got the shots. As a company, you’re getting more shots in arms. I want to thank Otto for hosting us here at Clayco, one of the Midwest’s biggest construction companies, three billion dollars a year in revenue, thousands of employees nationwide, and here in Elk Grove, 100% union, not labor, union. Union.

President Joe Biden: (15:06)
One of the reasons I said I ran was to rebuild this country, rebuild the backbone of the country, and I meant it sincerely. The backbone is to build from the bottom up and the middle out. I’m a capitalist. I think these people should be able to go out and make a lot of money. That’s not the problem. But everybody should have even shot. Who built the middle class? Unions built the middle class. Not a joke, without the unions, we would not have a middle class in America, so everybody owes you all.

President Joe Biden: (15:35)
You’re constructing buildings for some America’s biggest companies, but you’re also doing something bigger than that. You’re helping us beat back COVID-19, so are the great leaders who are here today. JP, Governor, you’ve done more than about anybody I can think of in any state. I mean that sincerely. You’ve stepped up. You’ve always done what you said you were going to do and you’ve been relentless in getting people vaccinated. In the Midwest, you’re leading. You’re leading, and it’s real. It’s not hyperbole. Mayor Lightfoot, who I said, “Please go back to work. I’m going to get in trouble.” She had to leave. But Mayor Lightfoot the same thing. And Elk Grove Mayor Johnson, you’ve done a hell of a job as well.

President Joe Biden: (16:19)
We have 11 members of Congress here. Raja, thank you for hosting us in your district, for permission to come into the district. I also want to thank colleagues in the House of Representatives, Mike Quigley, Robin Kelly, Bobby Rush, Danny Davis, Jan Schakowsky, an old friend, Bill foster, Brad Snyder, Sean Casten, Lauren Underwood and Marie Newman. For them, you’d all understand it in a different context, but this is a busman’s holiday for them. They have to come hear another politician speak. You know what I mean? Not a joke, folks. I appreciate it. I genuinely appreciate it. I appreciate it. I know they wanted to be here, but there’s others who are in Washington who can’t be here, Dick Durbin and Tammy, who I’ve both spoken to. They’re in Washington and hopefully will be voting soon.

President Joe Biden: (17:15)
Also, we’ve got state leadership here. Lieutenant Governor Julia’s here, Stratton, and the Ohio, Pennsylvania, the Ohio, Pennsylvania. I’m from Pennsylvania. The Illinois President Don Harmon, State Senator Laura Murphy, State Rep Martin Moylan.

President Joe Biden: (17:35)
We got great labor leaders here too. Tim. Where’s Tim? There you go. Tim, thank you. Thank you, pal. AFL/CIO state president. And Jeff Isaacson, United Brothers of Carpenters, and Don Finn, IBW and Robert Reiter, R-E-I-T-E-R. Reiter, Chicago Federation of Labor.

President Joe Biden: (17:59)
Folks, that’s how we beat COVID-19 by working together. We have an expression in that little town of Claymont I was from: “You all brung me to the dance.” Labor, you’re the reason I’m staying here. Not a joke. Not a joke. I got elected when I was 29 years old to the United States Senate, 17 days before I was eligible to be sworn in. I had to wait around to be sworn in. Not a joke, as well. I won by 3,300 votes and labor, including the police unions as well as the firefighters, stood up and endorsed me. I kid with the governor, I said, “I grew up in a town called Claymont, Delaware from third grade on. I went to a little Catholic school called Holy Rosary. Across the street from Holy Rosary was the fire station. And the guys I grew up with, you became either a firefighter, a cop or a priest. I was unqualified for any of them, so I had to be president.

President Joe Biden: (18:57)
But look, it’s been a month since I laid out a six-part plan to accelerate the path out of this pandemic. One, vaccinate the unvaccinated. Two, continue to keep the vaccinated protected, keep children safe and schools open, which the gov is doing, increase testing and masking, protect the economic recovery and improve the care of the people with COVID-19.

President Joe Biden: (19:21)
We’ve made real progress across the board. More than 185 million Americans are now fully vaccinated. More than 75% of eligible Americans have gotten at least one shot. We’ve made great progress on equity as well in closing the gaps in race, as well as ethnic vaccination rates. Recent data shows Latino Americans, Black Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans have now gotten vaccinated about the comparable rate as White Americans. That’s not happened before. And our work on equity isn’t done, but it’s an important piece of progress. We’re also starting to see less COVID- 19 cases in a vast majority of communities around the-

President Joe Biden: (20:03)
… less COVID-19 cases, in a vast majority of communities around the country. Cases are down this past month by 40%. Hospitalizations are down by 25%. We’re headed in the right direction. If we don’t, we keep our eye on the ball here. We still have a long way to go. The fact is, this has been a pandemic of the unvaccinated, unvaccinated. The unvaccinated overcrowd our hospitals, over running emergency rooms and intensive care units.

President Joe Biden: (20:29)
The unvaccinated patients are leaving no room for someone with a heart attack or in need of a cancer operation, and so much more, because they can’t get into the ICU. They can’t get into the operating rooms. The unvaccinated also put our economy at risk, because people are reluctant to go out and think about this. Even in places where there is no restriction on going to restaurants and gyms and movie theaters, people are not going, in anywhere near the numbers, because they’re worried they’re going to get sick.

President Joe Biden: (20:59)
I’ve tried everything in my power to get people vaccinated. First thing I did when I was sworn into office back on January 20th is I bought enough vaccine right off the bat to vaccinate every single American. There were only 4 million Americans who had been vaccinated up to that point, even though the virus had been around. Second, we made everyone eligible to get a vaccination, and made it easy and convenient for them to find a place to get vaccinated. Over 880,000 places around the country.

President Joe Biden: (21:26)
Third, we gave everyone ample time and information to deal with their concerns. We developed hundreds of millions of dollars in incentives. You did here in the city and the state of Illinois, in cities and community organizations to encourage vaccinations. Governor Pritzker, you’ve done one hell of a job, in terms of encouraging people before we get to the mandate. But even after all these efforts, we still had more than a quarter of the people in the United States who were eligible for vaccinations, but didn’t get the shot.

President Joe Biden: (21:58)
And we know there is no other way to beat the pandemic then to get the vast majority of Americans vaccinated. It’s as simple as that, and to spread to our children, to spread throughout society, our hospitals, the risk of other variants, it’s all dangerous and obvious, but we’re still not there. We have to beat this thing. So while I didn’t race to do it right away, that’s why I’ve had to move toward requirements that everyone get vaccinated where I had the authority to do that. That wasn’t my first instinct.

President Joe Biden: (22:31)
My administration is now requiring federal workers to be vaccinated. We’ve also required federal contractors to be vaccinated. If you have a contract with the federal government, working for the federal government, you have to be vaccinated. We’re requiring active duty military to be vaccinated. We’re making sure healthcare workers are vaccinated, because if you seek care at a healthcare facility, you should have the certainty that the people providing that care are protected from COVID and cannot spread it to you. The Labor Department is going to shortly issue an emergency rule, which I asked for several weeks ago, and they’re going through the process to require all employees with more than 100 people, whether they work for the federal government or not, this is within the purview of the Labor Department, to ensure their workers are fully vaccinated or face testing at least once a week. In total, this Labor Department vaccination requirement will cover 100 million Americans, about two-thirds of all the people who work in America. And here’s the deal, these requirements are already proving that they work.

President Joe Biden: (23:39)
Starting in July when I announced the first vaccination requirement for the federal government, about 95 million eligible Americans were unvaccinated. This was mentioned a little bit earlier. Today, we’ve reduced that number to 67 eligible Americans who aren’t vaccinated. And today, we released a new report outlining effective vaccination requirements that are already proving their worth.

President Joe Biden: (24:03)
This report shows three things. First, vaccination requirements result in more people getting vaccinated. In the past few weeks, as more and more organizations have implemented their own requirements, they’ve seen their vaccination rates rise dramatically. For example, the Department of Defense has gone from 67% of active duty forces being vaccinated to 97% as of tomorrow. Vaccinations, just six weeks into this vaccination requirement, that’s how quickly it’s moved. We’re also seeing this at colleges and universities across the country.

President Joe Biden: (24:38)
More than 95% of students at colleges and universities like Northwestern, the University of Illinois Chicago are vaccinated, and we’re going to see it in health systems around the country as well. Rush University Medical Center here in Chicago has gone from 72% to more than 95% of its employees fully vaccinated under its requirements. These requirements work, and as the business round table and others told me, when I announced the first requirement, that encouraged businesses to feel they could come in and demand the same thing of their employees.

President Joe Biden: (25:10)
More people are getting vaccinated, more lives are being saved. Let’s be clear. When you see headlines and reports of mass firings and hundreds of people losing their jobs, look at the bigger story. I’ve spoken with Scott Kirby, CEO of United Airlines who’s here today, United went from 59% of their employees to 99% of their employees in less than two months after implementing the requirement. 99%. And by the way, Scott, I want you to know I’ve instructed the Justice Department to make sure that we deal with the violence on aircraft coming from those people who are taking issues. We’re going to deal with that.

President Joe Biden: (25:48)
In the last days of their implementation, they cut the remaining number of employees left to get vaccinated in half. They went from 67,000 United employees, of 67,000, 66,800 complied. People chose to get vaccinated. That’s why we’re seeing more companies signing up.

President Joe Biden: (26:09)
I recently met with the CEOs of Disney, Microsoft, who you’re familiar with here, Walgreens, to hear about their requirements. The business roundtable represents 200 of the largest businesses in the world, and has championed vaccination requirements to keep businesses open and workers safe. America’s largest aerospace companies, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, who I met with yesterday, the chairman of the board, Northrop Grumman, they all just announced plans to implement vaccination requirements. This I always get a kick out of, Fox News. Fox News requires vaccinations for all employees. Give me a break, Fox News.

President Joe Biden: (26:53)
Over the past week, we’ve seen American, Southwest, Alaska, JetBlue Airlines all announced requirements. The leaders in Chicago are stepping up. As I said, the mayor, Mayor Lightfoot, Governor Pritzker are requiring vaccinations of state and city workers, healthcare workers, and teachers. Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce here, Jack [Levin 00:27:14], who is here, has called for all members of the Chamber to require vaccinations for their employees going back to work in person. And I came here to Clayco to thank this company for doing the right thing.

President Joe Biden: (27:29)
Today, Clayco is announcing it’s going to require all employees to be fully vaccinated or test once a week. It matters. I know these decisions aren’t easy, but you’re setting an example and a powerful example. Second thing I’d like to say, today’s report shows that vaccination requirements are good for the economy. Not only increasing vaccination rates, but to help send people back to work, back to work. When I first started the vaccination program and we got all that vaccine enough for everyone, we’re vaccinating three million people a day, we were getting very close before things began to slow down. The economy’s growing in leaps and bounds. 6%, the fastest growing major economy in the world. In fact, increased vaccination coverage results in as many as five million American workers going back to work, because they feel safe they can go back to work.

President Joe Biden: (28:29)
There’ll be more economic demand to drive people back to the workforce, but don’t take it from me. Not from some liberal think tank this comes from, but here’s what Wall Street’s saying, Goldman Sachs, “Vaccinations will have a positive impact on employment. It means less spread of COVID-19, which will help people return to work.” Moody’s on Wall Street, “Vaccination means fewer infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. In turn, it means a stronger economy.”

President Joe Biden: (28:58)
One economist called vaccine requirements, and I quote, “The single most powerful…” He didn’t say single. “The most powerful economic stimulus ever enacted.” And I quote. Third point I’d like to make, the report shows that vaccination requirements have broad public support. Yes, some object. And some object very strenuously, and some are making a political statement out of this issue, but a strong bipartisan majority of Americans support vaccinations.

President Joe Biden: (29:27)
They know it isn’t about politics. It’s about life and death. That’s what it’s about. It’s about looking out for one another. It’s about being patriotic, doing the right thing. Folks, vaccination requirements work, and there’s nothing new about them. They’ve been around for decades. We’ve been living with these requirements throughout our lives. Students, healthcare professionals, our troops have been required to receive vaccinations from anything from polio to measles, to mumps, to rubella, and the reason most people in America don’t worry about polio-

President Joe Biden: (30:03)
And the reason most people in America don’t worry about polio, measles, mumps, rubella is because they’ve been vaccinated. I don’t quite get this, why it’s a matter of no violation in your right to be able to go to school or get a job to have, etc. But now, it’s a great cause [inaudible 00:30:21].

President Joe Biden: (30:22)
So today, I’m calling on more employers to act. My message is, require your employees to get vaccinated. With vaccinations we’re going to beat this pandemic finally. Without them, we face endless months of chaos in our hospitals, damage to our economy and anxiety in our schools, and empty restaurants and much less commerce. Look, I know the vaccination requirements are tough medicine, unpopular with some, politics for others, but they’re lifesaving. They’re game changing for our country. We’re in a position to leap forward in a way that we haven’t for a long, long time economically. Businesses have more power than ever before to change the arc of this pandemic and save lives and protect and grow our economy.

President Joe Biden: (31:15)
As President, I’m going to continue to do everything I can to get us out of this pandemic. I look forward to more businesses joining that effort. And for folks who haven’t gotten vaccinated, get it done, do the right thing. You can save your life. You can save the lives of those around you. You know, if I can digress for just a second, last night I was on the television, I was on the telephone with a person at an emergency hospital ward in Pennsylvania, because a good friend had called and he had rushed his significant other to the emergency room because this woman was having trouble breathing, had a high fever and could not really catch her breath. And they got her into the hospital, but the waiting room was so crowded, things were so backed up, they couldn’t even get her to be seen initially.

President Joe Biden: (32:14)
So, because I knew this person I called the desk, the receiving nurse and asked what the situation was. And has anyone even… And by way, I wasn’t complaining because they’re getting the living hell kicked out of them, by the way. Doctors and nurses, some of them are just, they’re running dry. I really mean it. They’re getting the living hell kicked out of them. And sometimes physically. And to make a long story short, it took while because all of the, not all, the vast majority of the emergency rooms and the docs were occupied taking care of COVID patients.

President Joe Biden: (32:54)
I bet every one of you can name somebody who got sent to the hospital with something other than COVID and couldn’t get it taken care of how. Many people do you know, I know, who’ve had to put off elective surgery, surgery they needed done, but they couldn’t get a hospital room. Didn’t mean they were going to die in many cases, but some places in the world that’s happening. You can’t even get to do the elective surgery that’s necessary, particularly for a lot of cancer patients.

President Joe Biden: (33:25)
So look, things are changing and we can end this. We can end this thing. It’s easy, it’s accessible and it’s free to get the vaccine. Text your zip code to 4-3-8-8-2-9, 4-3-8-8-2-9, text your zip code there, or visit vaccines.gov to find a vaccination location near you. I promise there’s one within five minutes of where you are, 15 minutes of where you are, and it’s free.

President Joe Biden: (33:58)
Let me close with this. We have a plan. We have the tools. We’re using them and we’re making progress. We just have to finish the job, finish the job. So for God’s sake, for your own sake, for the sake of your families, get vaccinated. We can do this. We can do this if we do it together and we can literally change the circumstances, the health, the comradery, the employment, and the access to growing economy if we step up and lead the world.

President Joe Biden: (34:40)
And one last thing I’d like to mention, which is not directly… It’s not part of what I was going to say today, but I made a commitment that just like World War II, we were the arsenal democracy providing the means by which the allies could fight and win the war. We’re the arsenal of vaccines. I’ve not only purchased enough vaccine to make sure every single American can get a vaccine shot, get the full dose and a booster, but provided for already we put out 1,800,000 doses of vaccines in other parts of the world. And we’re going to end up doing over 1,200,000,000 million dose between now and the end of the first quarter of next year.

President Joe Biden: (35:26)
Because, you know, it’s not just being decent and honorable with what we can do, but it’s in our own naked interest. If we haven’t learned before, you can’t build a wall high enough to keep out a virus, you can’t do it. You cannot do it. So we have an obligation in our own naked self-interest to help other countries. And by the way, I travel the world, I’ve met with all the major world leaders and I’m going to continue to meet with them. And guess what? Other countries are making like they’re really doing a great deal. We have provided more vaccines around the world than every other country in the world combined. Combined. And guess what? Unlike China and Russian and others, we’re not asking a single thing, not a single thing in return. Nothing, nothing. It’s having a profound impact on how we’re viewed.

President Joe Biden: (36:32)
So those you who haven’t gotten vaccinated who may be listening to this broadcast, please get vaccinated, please. God bless you all and make God protect our troops. Thank you so very much. Thank you. [inaudible 00:37:04] Thank you and keep it going. [crosstalk 00:37:35]

Governor Pritzker: (00:00)
Thank you, Mr. President, for your courageous leadership during this pandemic. The president couldn’t have picked a better place than Illinois to witness the rising tide of economic recovery in construction, advanced manufacturing, in agriculture, the innovation economy, clean energy and more. We are proudly the most vaccinated state in the Midwest. And thanks to the partners that we have, like Clayco, a longtime vocal advocate of the life saving power of vaccination, thousands more Illinoisans are getting their first shot each day.

Governor Pritzker: (00:44)
As the Delta wave has made all the more clear, to exit this pandemic, inventing lifesaving vaccines isn’t enough. We have to actually use them. Getting vaccinated is the right thing to do for ourselves and for each other. Vaccinations are helping to keep our schools and our businesses open. They are the way out of this pandemic and back to normalcy in every aspect of our lives. And although millions more need to do their part, thanks to the president’s leadership and the commitment of people across Illinois and the nation, we’re making real progress. In fact, just today, I announced two additional agreements with organized labor requiring vaccines for state workers who care for our veterans and for our most vulnerable.

Governor Pritzker: (01:36)
I’m proud to have their partnership as we promote safe, proven, and free vaccinations that will restore normalcy to our communities, our lives, and most crucially allow us to maintain our healthcare system’s ability to care for anyone who walks through their doors in need of help. As we begin to see signs of improvement in our COVID-19 trajectory, every unvaccinated American has a choice to make. We can prepare for more tragic, senseless loss of life in the months to come, or we can get vaccinated. There’s really not much debate about what the right choice is. So roll up your sleeves and get your first shot and your flu shot, and if you’re eligible for a second shot or a booster shot, don’t wait. America needs you now. This is about freedom from the virus. Getting vaccinated is among the most patriotic things that you can do. Thank you, and now it’s my great pleasure to introduce the mayor of the great city of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot.

Lori Lightfoot: (02:47)
Thank you, Governor, and thank you all for being here, and I want to give a hearty thanks to our members of the federal congressional delegation, all the work that you’ve done to make sure that we are getting our fair share of resources, but also your incredible leadership during these difficult times. I want to recognize Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton and Senate President Don Harmon. Thank you all for your leadership.

Lori Lightfoot: (03:17)
We have a once in a generation opportunity to make transformative change in American lives. This moment is big and demands bold action because lives literally are hanging in the balance. Build Back Better is not just a catchy slogan. It’s a value statement and one that I wholeheartedly embrace. But all these things will be for not if we don’t heed the advice and the leadership of our president and our public health leadership as well. We’ve got to get people vaccinated.

Lori Lightfoot: (03:57)
It is, as the governor just said, the most patriotic thing that can be done. The vaccine is safe, it is free, and now it is widely available. We just recently announced in the city of Chicago a new initiative around the vaccine called Protect Chicago 77, representing our 77 neighborhoods. Our challenge, but our opportunity, is to make sure that not a single one of our neighborhoods is left behind. And we’ve made great progress, and I’m proud to say that we lead the nation in the most equitable vaccine distribution policy in the country. But we still have more to do and we need partnership with all of the people that are here.

Lori Lightfoot: (04:42)
I want to thank Bob Reiter of the CFL for the incredible leadership that the CFL has done hosting one of the first vaccination clinics for organized labor in the country. But we have to roll up our sleeves and do more. It is senseless that every single day there are people lying in emergency rooms, in ICU beds, and they’re on the verge of death simply because they have not taken advantage of this life saving vaccine. So we need to heed the advice of the experts and we need to follow the advice of our president, and there’s so much that we can do together, but we’ll never be able to move forward unless we get this pandemic and the virus behind us.

Lori Lightfoot: (05:27)
So I urge everyone. If you haven’t taken advantage of this opportunity, please do so. The vaccine is widely available, and again, it is safe, proven safe over and over again, and it’s the thing that we can do to make sure that we move forward, that we get people back to work, and that we truly are able to embrace the president’s leadership around Build Back Better. And with that, I’d love to welcome a friend, a true advocate for the city of Chicago, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi.

Raja Krishnamoorthi: (05:59)
Thank you, Governor. Good afternoon. It’s an honor to be here and it’s an honor to be someplace they pronounce your name right. It’s a true story. When I first ran for office, I said, my name is Raja Krishnamoorthi and the person in Chicago looked right back at me and said, “Roger Christian Murphy.” And so it’s lovely to be here and from an Irishman by mispronunciation to an Irishman by ancestry, namely the President of the United States, I want to welcome him to the eighth district of Illinois. I want to observe those three rules of public speaking, be short, be sweet and be gone, and so I have three points that I want to make.

Raja Krishnamoorthi: (06:42)
First of all, can you give a big round of applause to the president for joining us today? His life story embodies goodness, grit and resilience, which are the very qualities that we need now more than ever to get through the pandemic. And I just want to thank him for bringing those qualities to the White House every single day because we need it now more than ever. Second point is, can you give a round of applause to the Governor for his tremendous leadership, Mayor Lightfoot, Mayor Johnson of Elk Grove Village, all of our state and local leaders, my congressional colleagues, men and women of labor, and of course the workers from Clayco. Give them a big round of applause, and their CEO, Bob Clark, for everything that they’ve done to stand up this beautiful data center in the eighth district, and we’re going to be so proud when it’s finished and to see the final results.

Raja Krishnamoorthi: (07:48)
The third and final point I want to make is this, which is today marks the start of Navaratri and the holiest month of Hinduism that leads to Diwali. During this time we celebrate light prevailing over darkness and knowledge prevailing over ignorance. In that spirit, here’s what we know about vaccines. One, they work, and two, vaccine requirements work. Since President Biden announced vaccine requirements less than one month ago. The number of people unvaccinated in this country went from 95 million down to 67 million, a drop of 30% of the unvaccinated population or 30 million people in one month alone. So in the words of the James Bond movie opening tonight, it’s no time to die. It’s time to get vaccinated. And I just want to thank the president for his clarion call to do just that. Thank you so much.

Speaker 1: (09:49)
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Jerry [Mizzo 00:09:52] and President Joe Biden.

Jerry Wenzel: (10:09)
Thank you. Thank you. Take your seats. Good afternoon, everyone.

Speaker 2: (10:14)
Good afternoon.

Jerry Wenzel: (10:14)
It is an honor to be here today to welcome President Joe Biden and to share his vision of getting everybody vaccinated, 100%. We would also like to acknowledge our distinguished guest: Governor Pritzker, Mayor Lightfoot, Mayor Johnson. Thank you.

Jerry Wenzel: (10:34)
I’m Jerry Wenzel, senior field operations manager for Clayco, a top design build firm here in America. I have been with Clayco for 23 years because of its core values, and its core values are treating others how you want to be treated, such a simple philosophy, building a diversified workforce, you see it amongst us now, and creating jobs within the communities that we work in around the country.

Jerry Wenzel: (11:02)
We are thrilled that you’re all here today at this Microsoft project, a realization of Mayor Johnson’s vision to creating jobs with a more prosperous and beautiful Elk Grove village. It looks fantastic. We thank all the people involved in this major project, especially all the hard union workers. I am also a proud union member, vested in 30 years in the union carpentry Local 250.

Jerry Wenzel: (11:32)
Safety is a top-

Jerry Wenzel: (11:34)
Thank you.

Jerry Wenzel: (11:39)
Safety is a top priority at Clayco. Some people say it, we live it every day. We are making sure everyone goes home to their loved ones safe, safer than they came here. Right? That’s our philosophy. We’re spouses, we’re sons, we’re daughters, we’re parents, and were grandparents on these jobs. In my case, like yours, Mr. President, I’m a grandfather of three young grandchildren who are not yet able to get vaccinated. We are all making personal choices to get vaccinated. Everyone has a different story. Thank you. My reason and my wife’s reason was for our grandchildren. Mr. President, thank you for making the safety of our workforce and our great country your top priority. On behalf of Clayco, Microsoft, Elk Grove Village and the city of Chicago, it is an honor of a lifetime to welcome President Joe Biden.

President Joe Biden: (12:51)
Jerry, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Mr. Mayor, thanks for the passport into town. I tell you every time I come to the greater Chicago area, there’s somebody I want to steal and bring back to Washington, Gov. I’ve done it a couple times.

President Joe Biden: (13:17)
At any rate, look, Jerry, every company needs people like you. Every single one. Someone who knows what my dad taught me and a lot of people who know me well, including the governor’s sister who I worked closely with for eight years, my dad used to have an expression, he used to say, “Everyone is entitled to be treated with dignity and Joey a job’s a hell of a lot more than about a paycheck. It’s about your dignity. It’s about your place in the community. It’s about being to look your kid in the eye and say, ‘Honey, everything’s going to be okay.’” That’s the God’s truth. He said ever since he lost, things went south in Scranton, Pennsylvania when I was a kid and coal shut down. My dad was not a coal miner. I had a great grandfather who was a coal miner engineer, but he was a salesperson. We moved down to Wilmington, Delaware, a little town called Claymont, a little steel town, where there’s no steel anymore, but right on the border of Pennsylvania. It was always about the dignity of work.

President Joe Biden: (14:22)
What you’ve been doing here about this pandemic is about protecting the dignity of your fellow Americans. You stayed in an operations mode, lining up protective equipment for the rest of the country, all around the country, and when the vaccine came out, you all stepped up and you got the shots. As a company, you’re getting more shots in arms. I want to thank Otto for hosting us here at Clayco, one of the Midwest’s biggest construction companies, three billion dollars a year in revenue, thousands of employees nationwide, and here in Elk Grove, 100% union, not labor, union. Union.

President Joe Biden: (15:06)
One of the reasons I said I ran was to rebuild this country, rebuild the backbone of the country, and I meant it sincerely. The backbone is to build from the bottom up and the middle out. I’m a capitalist. I think these people should be able to go out and make a lot of money. That’s not the problem. But everybody should have even shot. Who built the middle class? Unions built the middle class. Not a joke, without the unions, we would not have a middle class in America, so everybody owes you all.

President Joe Biden: (15:35)
You’re constructing buildings for some America’s biggest companies, but you’re also doing something bigger than that. You’re helping us beat back COVID-19, so are the great leaders who are here today. JP, Governor, you’ve done more than about anybody I can think of in any state. I mean that sincerely. You’ve stepped up. You’ve always done what you said you were going to do and you’ve been relentless in getting people vaccinated. In the Midwest, you’re leading. You’re leading, and it’s real. It’s not hyperbole. Mayor Lightfoot, who I said, “Please go back to work. I’m going to get in trouble.” She had to leave. But Mayor Lightfoot the same thing. And Elk Grove Mayor Johnson, you’ve done a hell of a job as well.

President Joe Biden: (16:19)
We have 11 members of Congress here. Raja, thank you for hosting us in your district, for permission to come into the district. I also want to thank colleagues in the House of Representatives, Mike Quigley, Robin Kelly, Bobby Rush, Danny Davis, Jan Schakowsky, an old friend, Bill foster, Brad Snyder, Sean Casten, Lauren Underwood and Marie Newman. For them, you’d all understand it in a different context, but this is a busman’s holiday for them. They have to come hear another politician speak. You know what I mean? Not a joke, folks. I appreciate it. I genuinely appreciate it. I appreciate it. I know they wanted to be here, but there’s others who are in Washington who can’t be here, Dick Durbin and Tammy, who I’ve both spoken to. They’re in Washington and hopefully will be voting soon.

President Joe Biden: (17:15)
Also, we’ve got state leadership here. Lieutenant Governor Julia’s here, Stratton, and the Ohio, Pennsylvania, the Ohio, Pennsylvania. I’m from Pennsylvania. The Illinois President Don Harmon, State Senator Laura Murphy, State Rep Martin Moylan.

President Joe Biden: (17:35)
We got great labor leaders here too. Tim. Where’s Tim? There you go. Tim, thank you. Thank you, pal. AFL/CIO state president. And Jeff Isaacson, United Brothers of Carpenters, and Don Finn, IBW and Robert Reiter, R-E-I-T-E-R. Reiter, Chicago Federation of Labor.

President Joe Biden: (17:59)
Folks, that’s how we beat COVID-19 by working together. We have an expression in that little town of Claymont I was from: “You all brung me to the dance.” Labor, you’re the reason I’m staying here. Not a joke. Not a joke. I got elected when I was 29 years old to the United States Senate, 17 days before I was eligible to be sworn in. I had to wait around to be sworn in. Not a joke, as well. I won by 3,300 votes and labor, including the police unions as well as the firefighters, stood up and endorsed me. I kid with the governor, I said, “I grew up in a town called Claymont, Delaware from third grade on. I went to a little Catholic school called Holy Rosary. Across the street from Holy Rosary was the fire station. And the guys I grew up with, you became either a firefighter, a cop or a priest. I was unqualified for any of them, so I had to be president.

President Joe Biden: (18:57)
But look, it’s been a month since I laid out a six-part plan to accelerate the path out of this pandemic. One, vaccinate the unvaccinated. Two, continue to keep the vaccinated protected, keep children safe and schools open, which the gov is doing, increase testing and masking, protect the economic recovery and improve the care of the people with COVID-19.

President Joe Biden: (19:21)
We’ve made real progress across the board. More than 185 million Americans are now fully vaccinated. More than 75% of eligible Americans have gotten at least one shot. We’ve made great progress on equity as well in closing the gaps in race, as well as ethnic vaccination rates. Recent data shows Latino Americans, Black Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans have now gotten vaccinated about the comparable rate as White Americans. That’s not happened before. And our work on equity isn’t done, but it’s an important piece of progress. We’re also starting to see less COVID- 19 cases in a vast majority of communities around the-

President Joe Biden: (20:03)
… less COVID-19 cases, in a vast majority of communities around the country. Cases are down this past month by 40%. Hospitalizations are down by 25%. We’re headed in the right direction. If we don’t, we keep our eye on the ball here. We still have a long way to go. The fact is, this has been a pandemic of the unvaccinated, unvaccinated. The unvaccinated overcrowd our hospitals, over running emergency rooms and intensive care units.

President Joe Biden: (20:29)
The unvaccinated patients are leaving no room for someone with a heart attack or in need of a cancer operation, and so much more, because they can’t get into the ICU. They can’t get into the operating rooms. The unvaccinated also put our economy at risk, because people are reluctant to go out and think about this. Even in places where there is no restriction on going to restaurants and gyms and movie theaters, people are not going, in anywhere near the numbers, because they’re worried they’re going to get sick.

President Joe Biden: (20:59)
I’ve tried everything in my power to get people vaccinated. First thing I did when I was sworn into office back on January 20th is I bought enough vaccine right off the bat to vaccinate every single American. There were only 4 million Americans who had been vaccinated up to that point, even though the virus had been around. Second, we made everyone eligible to get a vaccination, and made it easy and convenient for them to find a place to get vaccinated. Over 880,000 places around the country.

President Joe Biden: (21:26)
Third, we gave everyone ample time and information to deal with their concerns. We developed hundreds of millions of dollars in incentives. You did here in the city and the state of Illinois, in cities and community organizations to encourage vaccinations. Governor Pritzker, you’ve done one hell of a job, in terms of encouraging people before we get to the mandate. But even after all these efforts, we still had more than a quarter of the people in the United States who were eligible for vaccinations, but didn’t get the shot.

President Joe Biden: (21:58)
And we know there is no other way to beat the pandemic then to get the vast majority of Americans vaccinated. It’s as simple as that, and to spread to our children, to spread throughout society, our hospitals, the risk of other variants, it’s all dangerous and obvious, but we’re still not there. We have to beat this thing. So while I didn’t race to do it right away, that’s why I’ve had to move toward requirements that everyone get vaccinated where I had the authority to do that. That wasn’t my first instinct.

President Joe Biden: (22:31)
My administration is now requiring federal workers to be vaccinated. We’ve also required federal contractors to be vaccinated. If you have a contract with the federal government, working for the federal government, you have to be vaccinated. We’re requiring active duty military to be vaccinated. We’re making sure healthcare workers are vaccinated, because if you seek care at a healthcare facility, you should have the certainty that the people providing that care are protected from COVID and cannot spread it to you. The Labor Department is going to shortly issue an emergency rule, which I asked for several weeks ago, and they’re going through the process to require all employees with more than 100 people, whether they work for the federal government or not, this is within the purview of the Labor Department, to ensure their workers are fully vaccinated or face testing at least once a week. In total, this Labor Department vaccination requirement will cover 100 million Americans, about two-thirds of all the people who work in America. And here’s the deal, these requirements are already proving that they work.

President Joe Biden: (23:39)
Starting in July when I announced the first vaccination requirement for the federal government, about 95 million eligible Americans were unvaccinated. This was mentioned a little bit earlier. Today, we’ve reduced that number to 67 eligible Americans who aren’t vaccinated. And today, we released a new report outlining effective vaccination requirements that are already proving their worth.

President Joe Biden: (24:03)
This report shows three things. First, vaccination requirements result in more people getting vaccinated. In the past few weeks, as more and more organizations have implemented their own requirements, they’ve seen their vaccination rates rise dramatically. For example, the Department of Defense has gone from 67% of active duty forces being vaccinated to 97% as of tomorrow. Vaccinations, just six weeks into this vaccination requirement, that’s how quickly it’s moved. We’re also seeing this at colleges and universities across the country.

President Joe Biden: (24:38)
More than 95% of students at colleges and universities like Northwestern, the University of Illinois Chicago are vaccinated, and we’re going to see it in health systems around the country as well. Rush University Medical Center here in Chicago has gone from 72% to more than 95% of its employees fully vaccinated under its requirements. These requirements work, and as the business round table and others told me, when I announced the first requirement, that encouraged businesses to feel they could come in and demand the same thing of their employees.

President Joe Biden: (25:10)
More people are getting vaccinated, more lives are being saved. Let’s be clear. When you see headlines and reports of mass firings and hundreds of people losing their jobs, look at the bigger story. I’ve spoken with Scott Kirby, CEO of United Airlines who’s here today, United went from 59% of their employees to 99% of their employees in less than two months after implementing the requirement. 99%. And by the way, Scott, I want you to know I’ve instructed the Justice Department to make sure that we deal with the violence on aircraft coming from those people who are taking issues. We’re going to deal with that.

President Joe Biden: (25:48)
In the last days of their implementation, they cut the remaining number of employees left to get vaccinated in half. They went from 67,000 United employees, of 67,000, 66,800 complied. People chose to get vaccinated. That’s why we’re seeing more companies signing up.

President Joe Biden: (26:09)
I recently met with the CEOs of Disney, Microsoft, who you’re familiar with here, Walgreens, to hear about their requirements. The business roundtable represents 200 of the largest businesses in the world, and has championed vaccination requirements to keep businesses open and workers safe. America’s largest aerospace companies, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, who I met with yesterday, the chairman of the board, Northrop Grumman, they all just announced plans to implement vaccination requirements. This I always get a kick out of, Fox News. Fox News requires vaccinations for all employees. Give me a break, Fox News.

President Joe Biden: (26:53)
Over the past week, we’ve seen American, Southwest, Alaska, JetBlue Airlines all announced requirements. The leaders in Chicago are stepping up. As I said, the mayor, Mayor Lightfoot, Governor Pritzker are requiring vaccinations of state and city workers, healthcare workers, and teachers. Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce here, Jack [Levin 00:27:14], who is here, has called for all members of the Chamber to require vaccinations for their employees going back to work in person. And I came here to Clayco to thank this company for doing the right thing.

President Joe Biden: (27:29)
Today, Clayco is announcing it’s going to require all employees to be fully vaccinated or test once a week. It matters. I know these decisions aren’t easy, but you’re setting an example and a powerful example. Second thing I’d like to say, today’s report shows that vaccination requirements are good for the economy. Not only increasing vaccination rates, but to help send people back to work, back to work. When I first started the vaccination program and we got all that vaccine enough for everyone, we’re vaccinating three million people a day, we were getting very close before things began to slow down. The economy’s growing in leaps and bounds. 6%, the fastest growing major economy in the world. In fact, increased vaccination coverage results in as many as five million American workers going back to work, because they feel safe they can go back to work.

President Joe Biden: (28:29)
There’ll be more economic demand to drive people back to the workforce, but don’t take it from me. Not from some liberal think tank this comes from, but here’s what Wall Street’s saying, Goldman Sachs, “Vaccinations will have a positive impact on employment. It means less spread of COVID-19, which will help people return to work.” Moody’s on Wall Street, “Vaccination means fewer infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. In turn, it means a stronger economy.”

President Joe Biden: (28:58)
One economist called vaccine requirements, and I quote, “The single most powerful…” He didn’t say single. “The most powerful economic stimulus ever enacted.” And I quote. Third point I’d like to make, the report shows that vaccination requirements have broad public support. Yes, some object. And some object very strenuously, and some are making a political statement out of this issue, but a strong bipartisan majority of Americans support vaccinations.

President Joe Biden: (29:27)
They know it isn’t about politics. It’s about life and death. That’s what it’s about. It’s about looking out for one another. It’s about being patriotic, doing the right thing. Folks, vaccination requirements work, and there’s nothing new about them. They’ve been around for decades. We’ve been living with these requirements throughout our lives. Students, healthcare professionals, our troops have been required to receive vaccinations from anything from polio to measles, to mumps, to rubella, and the reason most people in America don’t worry about polio-

President Joe Biden: (30:03)
And the reason most people in America don’t worry about polio, measles, mumps, rubella is because they’ve been vaccinated. I don’t quite get this, why it’s a matter of no violation in your right to be able to go to school or get a job to have, etc. But now, it’s a great cause [inaudible 00:30:21].

President Joe Biden: (30:22)
So today, I’m calling on more employers to act. My message is, require your employees to get vaccinated. With vaccinations we’re going to beat this pandemic finally. Without them, we face endless months of chaos in our hospitals, damage to our economy and anxiety in our schools, and empty restaurants and much less commerce. Look, I know the vaccination requirements are tough medicine, unpopular with some, politics for others, but they’re lifesaving. They’re game changing for our country. We’re in a position to leap forward in a way that we haven’t for a long, long time economically. Businesses have more power than ever before to change the arc of this pandemic and save lives and protect and grow our economy.

President Joe Biden: (31:15)
As President, I’m going to continue to do everything I can to get us out of this pandemic. I look forward to more businesses joining that effort. And for folks who haven’t gotten vaccinated, get it done, do the right thing. You can save your life. You can save the lives of those around you. You know, if I can digress for just a second, last night I was on the television, I was on the telephone with a person at an emergency hospital ward in Pennsylvania, because a good friend had called and he had rushed his significant other to the emergency room because this woman was having trouble breathing, had a high fever and could not really catch her breath. And they got her into the hospital, but the waiting room was so crowded, things were so backed up, they couldn’t even get her to be seen initially.

President Joe Biden: (32:14)
So, because I knew this person I called the desk, the receiving nurse and asked what the situation was. And has anyone even… And by way, I wasn’t complaining because they’re getting the living hell kicked out of them, by the way. Doctors and nurses, some of them are just, they’re running dry. I really mean it. They’re getting the living hell kicked out of them. And sometimes physically. And to make a long story short, it took while because all of the, not all, the vast majority of the emergency rooms and the docs were occupied taking care of COVID patients.

President Joe Biden: (32:54)
I bet every one of you can name somebody who got sent to the hospital with something other than COVID and couldn’t get it taken care of how. Many people do you know, I know, who’ve had to put off elective surgery, surgery they needed done, but they couldn’t get a hospital room. Didn’t mean they were going to die in many cases, but some places in the world that’s happening. You can’t even get to do the elective surgery that’s necessary, particularly for a lot of cancer patients.

President Joe Biden: (33:25)
So look, things are changing and we can end this. We can end this thing. It’s easy, it’s accessible and it’s free to get the vaccine. Text your zip code to 4-3-8-8-2-9, 4-3-8-8-2-9, text your zip code there, or visit vaccines.gov to find a vaccination location near you. I promise there’s one within five minutes of where you are, 15 minutes of where you are, and it’s free.

President Joe Biden: (33:58)
Let me close with this. We have a plan. We have the tools. We’re using them and we’re making progress. We just have to finish the job, finish the job. So for God’s sake, for your own sake, for the sake of your families, get vaccinated. We can do this. We can do this if we do it together and we can literally change the circumstances, the health, the comradery, the employment, and the access to growing economy if we step up and lead the world.

President Joe Biden: (34:40)
And one last thing I’d like to mention, which is not directly… It’s not part of what I was going to say today, but I made a commitment that just like World War II, we were the arsenal democracy providing the means by which the allies could fight and win the war. We’re the arsenal of vaccines. I’ve not only purchased enough vaccine to make sure every single American can get a vaccine shot, get the full dose and a booster, but provided for already we put out 1,800,000 doses of vaccines in other parts of the world. And we’re going to end up doing over 1,200,000,000 million dose between now and the end of the first quarter of next year.

President Joe Biden: (35:26)
Because, you know, it’s not just being decent and honorable with what we can do, but it’s in our own naked interest. If we haven’t learned before, you can’t build a wall high enough to keep out a virus, you can’t do it. You cannot do it. So we have an obligation in our own naked self-interest to help other countries. And by the way, I travel the world, I’ve met with all the major world leaders and I’m going to continue to meet with them. And guess what? Other countries are making like they’re really doing a great deal. We have provided more vaccines around the world than every other country in the world combined. Combined. And guess what? Unlike China and Russian and others, we’re not asking a single thing, not a single thing in return. Nothing, nothing. It’s having a profound impact on how we’re viewed.

President Joe Biden: (36:32)
So those you who haven’t gotten vaccinated who may be listening to this broadcast, please get vaccinated, please. God bless you all and make God protect our troops. Thank you so very much. Thank you. [inaudible 00:37:04] Thank you and keep it going. [crosstalk 00:37:35]

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