Durbin: The President's Vaccine Policy Is What Our Country Needs To Put The Pandemic Behind Us

In a speech on the Senate floor, Durbin encouraged Americans to trust public health officials, tune out misinformation on the COVID-19 vaccine

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today delivered a speech on the Senate floor in support of the Biden Administration’s move to implement vaccine mandates for a majority of American workers. Since vaccination mandates have been announced, Illinois has experienced a nearly 40 percent decrease in new COVID-19 cases.

Durbin went on to highlight how Illinois-based companies like United Airlines are benefitting from implementing a vaccine mandate despite skeptics questioning whether such a policy would lead to labor shortages.

“Some of the biggest employers in our state were ahead of the curve…In August, United Airlines, based in Chicago, announced it would require its employees to get vaccinated. At the time, skeptics questions whether this would lead to mass resignations or labor shortages. They predicted chaos. Well, much to the dismay of the doomsayers, as of yesterday, more than 99 percent of United employees in America have rolled up their sleeves and gotten vaccinated. And every major airline in the country has followed United’s lead and introduced a vaccine requirement,” said Durbin.

Durbin pointed out that a majority of Americans agree with the President’s vaccine mandate and support a nationwide vaccine requirement. However, certain Senate Republicans and Republican state leaders continue to oppose the President’s vaccine policy and have promoted unfounded skepticism about the safety and efficacy of vaccines and COVID-19 guidelines.

“Some states have already shown us the deadly costs of taking a stand against public health. There are several states in our country that have both threatened to sue the Biden Administration and enacted policies of their own to ban vaccine and mask mandates. They include Texas, Florida, Utah, Arkansas, South Carolina, and Georgia. The leaders in these states have gone to extraordinary lengths to stymie public health efforts to save lives…Since July, these states have reported a coronavirus death rate nearly three times higher than the rest of the country…Lawmakers in these states have chosen a political course rather than one that makes sense or cares for the wellbeing of their people,” Durbin said.

Durbin also emphasized the hypocrisy of public figures who are complying with President Biden’s vaccine mandate while also continuing to spread dangerous falsehoods to fuel mistrust in COVID vaccines and public health officials.

“Some of the biggest peddlers of disinformation about vaccines have taken steps to protect themselves from coronavirus…Nearly every night, Tucker Carlson appears on Fox News and distributes bogus information to hundreds of thousands of households across America…But while Tucker is quick to question the science between masks or vaccines, what he won’t tell you, every day, he has to comply with a vaccine policy at Fox News,” said Durbin. “That’s right. Fox News has required every one of its employees to disclose their vaccination status. According to ABC News, more than 90 percent of Fox Network’s employees have been vaccinated and the remaining 10 percent are required to get tested every single day. Sound familiar?...It’s the same thing Joe Biden’s asked for nationwide.”

“If we want to save lives, if we want to jumpstart the economy, get kids back in school, all I can say is three words: follow the science. Stop villainizing public officials and start encouraging every American to do their part in finally ending this pandemic,” Durbin concluded.

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.