By Brian Trusdell (NEWSMAX)
Joe Biden said Friday he would not seek to require inoculations for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.
”No, I don’t think it should be mandatory,” Biden said during a briefing with reporters in Wilmington, Delaware. ”I wouldn’t demand it be mandatory.”
”But I would do everything in my power — just like I don’t think masks have to be made mandatory nationwide — I will do everything in my power as president of the United States to encourage people to do the right thing. And when they do it, demonstrate that it matters.”
Pfizer and Moderna already have sought approval from the Food & Drug Administration for an expedited review of their vaccines. Pfizer claims its vaccine is 95% effective while Moderna says its is 94% effective.
Biden said on CNN Thursday he would get a vaccination in public to diffuse concerns about its safety. Former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton also have said they were willing to get inoculated publicly.
Vice President Mike Pence said earlier Thursday that FDA approval of a vaccine is likely a week and a half away.
Biden also reiterated his statement that he will ask all Americans to wear masks for 100 days if he is inaugurated as president.
”If people do it for 100 days in the middle of what will be still a raging crisis and the vaccine is able to be distributed, they’re going to see deaths drop off the edge,” he said. ”They’re going to see hundreds of thousands of people, not getting sick. My hope is they’ll be then inclined to say, ‘OK, it’s worth — it’s worth the patriotic duty to go ahead and protect people.”’