U.S. Sen. Rick Scott issued a fresh critique of vaccine mandates Friday, saying that “emperor” Joe Biden was more concerned about getting people fired than good health.
In a speech Thursday in Illinois, the President downplayed concerns about “mass firings” of the unvaccinated in the wake of stronger pushes for mandatory vaccinations from employers, urging listeners to “look at the bigger story.”
That line was the principal excerpt that resonated among Biden’s critics on the right, the loudest anti-vax voices in the discourse by far.
For Scott, the National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman and a continual opponent of vaccine mandates, the rhetorical gaffe presented a red meat opportunity.
“The big story is Joe Biden is firing people. Joe Biden is telling people, ‘Hey, look, if you’re concerned about your health, I don’t care,'” Scott said, offering a blanket defense of refusing the shot.
“That’s what he’s saying. We’re going to make sure that you get fired because you are not doing what I tell you to do,” Scott continued.
“Emperor Biden: that’s who he is,” Scott said. “He thinks he can tell us what he should do.”
“You don’t fire people to improve your economy,” Scott added.
The Senator commented on Fox and Friends Friday morning, the latest in a series of blasts against vaccine mandates as a means of what he frames as undue coercion.
Last month, Scott joined with other Republican Senators on the Prevent Unconstitutional Vaccine Mandates for Interstate Commerce Act.
“I got the COVID-19 vaccine and encourage everyone who feels comfortable to get it too, but government has no business pushing mandates on the American people and our hardworking businesses,” Scott said at the time.
Months of harsh rhetoric preceded that bill filing. Particularly memorable was his argument this summer that federal door-to-door vaccination outreach programs are tantamount to intimidation and violations of the federal law restricting the release of medical information (HIPAA).
“Why should the government be pushing for people to put something into their bodies that they are not comfortable with? Everybody has access to the vaccine. It’s not like you don’t have access to the vaccine anywhere in the country.”
Scott has also taken issue with mask mandates, saying that they should exempt vaccinated people.
“This is crazy. It makes no sense,” Scott said in July. “Democrats want to use fear to control us. If I got a vaccine — I did — why do I have to wear a mask?”