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WASHINGTON (LifeSiteNews) — President Joe Biden doubled down Tuesday on his combative posture toward Americans who decline COVID-19 vaccines, blaming them for the pandemic’s continuation and going so far as to suggest that parents only let their children near vaccinated people.

In September, Biden directed the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) to draft a rule to “require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work,” as well as a mandate for around 17 million healthcare workers at medical facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding and one for federal contractors which accounts for roughly a fifth of the U.S. labor market. The health worker and contractor mandates contain no testing option.

The mandates have proven intensely controversial, provoking legal challenges that are slated to be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday. Biden has responded to the backlash by intensifying his strident tone on the subject, scaring unvaccinated Americans with predictions of a “winter of severe illness and death” and blaming them for continuing deaths and hospital crowding.

The president offered more of the same Tuesday in remarks before a White House COVID briefing.

“Get vaccinated” for COVID’s omicron variant, Biden said. “Get boosted. There’s plenty of booster shots. Wear a mask while you’re in public. Because what we know is this: The impact from the rising cases depends on the effect on the person based on whether that person — what their vaccination status is.”

“Be concerned about omicron, but don’t be alarmed,” he went on. “But if you’re unvaccinated, you have some reason to be alarmed. Many of you will — you know, you’ll experience severe illness, in many cases, if you get COVID-19 if you’re not vaccinated.  Some will die — needlessly die. The unvaccinated are taking up hospital beds and crowding emergency rooms and intensive care units. That’s a place that other people will need access to those hospitals.”

In fact, regardless of vaccination status, most Americans below age 65 face less than a 1% risk of dying from COVID in the absence of other negative health factors, such as obesity, diabetes, or vitamin deficiency. Further, the majority of American Omicron cases so far have been among the vaccinated, and the variant (which is now believed to make up 95% of all new COVID cases in the U.S.) appears to be less dangerous than its predecessors because it targets the upper respiratory tract rather than the lungs.

Further, critics say talk of “overrun” hospitals ignores several ways capacity data has been inflated since the start of the pandemic, including COVID hospitalization numbers that fail to differentiate among genuine emergency situations, mild cases, and patients who tested positive while being hospitalized for a different issue. Critics further note that Biden’s own vaccine mandate for health workers threatens to exacerbate hospitals’ staffing problems even more.

Biden declared there was “no excuse for anyone being unvaccinated,” claiming that the situation “continues to be a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

But data indicates that widespread dissemination of the COVID vaccines has failed to end the pandemic. The federal government considers more than 206 million Americans (62% of the eligible) to be “fully vaccinated” (a moving target given the vaccines’ temporary nature), yet data from Johns Hopkins University reported in October shows that more Americans died of COVID-19 by that point in 2021 (353,000) than in all of 2020 (352,000). The Moderna vaccine has been available throughout all of 2021; the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson shots were made available in late February.

Despite admitting “we have no reason to think at this point that omicron is worse for children than previous variants” and that “our kids can be safe when in school,” Biden urged parents to “look out for [children’s] interests here” by vaccinating them. “And for parents with kids too young to be vaccinated, surround your kids with people who are vaccinated,” he added. “And make sure you’re masking in public so you don’t get COVID and give it to your kids.”

Data shows that children are at little-to-no risk from COVID-19. Last summer, a team of researchers with Johns Hopkins School of Medicine “analyze[d] approximately 48,000 children under 18 diagnosed with Covid in health-insurance data from April to August 2020,” and found a “mortality rate of zero among children without a pre-existing medical condition such as leukemia.” The lead researcher, Dr. Marty Makary, accused the CDC of basing its advocacy of school COVID vaccination on “flimsy data.”

Meanwhile, even experts otherwise friendly to the shots — as acknowledged last July by the left-leaning publication Wired — argue that the potential for vaccine-related myocarditis among young males undermines the public health establishment’s persistent refrain that “the benefits of [COVID] vaccination far outweigh any harm.”

The president, who has largely neglected the potential of COVID treatment options such as ivermectin and even limited states’ supply of monoclonal antibody treatments, also promoted Pfizer’s new COVID-19 pill, Paxlovid, as a “game-changer” with the potential to “dramatically” lower “hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19.”

Citing the analysis of clinical and anatomic pathologist Dr. Ryan Cole, The Blaze’s Daniel Horowitz explains that Paxlovid is a protease inhibitor like ivermectin, but lacks ivermectin’s other twenty “mechanisms of action, which include anti-coagulant (inhibits CD147 receptor binding) and anti-inflammatory (decreases IL-6 and other inflammatory cytokines) modes of action,” which means, per Cole, “viruses can eventually mutate around this mechanism.” Paxlovid is also more expensive than ivermectin, and lacks ivermectin’s established safety profile.

Despite Biden’s aggressive COVID rhetoric, which remains largely unchanged from when he campaigned against former President Donald Trump, several members of his administration and their media allies, including White House COVID czar Dr. Anthony Fauci and Centers for Disease Control director Rochelle Walensky have recently changed their positions on several aspects of the pandemic, including length of isolation for the infected and the accuracy of hospitalization statistics.

LifeSiteNews has produced an extensive COVID-19 vaccines resources page. View it here.