The Corner

Biden on Vaccine Mandates, October 2020: You Couldn’t Enforce That

President Joe Biden discusses his ‘Build Back Better’ agenda at the White House, August 11, 2021. (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)

In mid-October 2020, in an ABC News town hall in Pennsylvania in the heat of the presidential campaign, Joe Biden was asked by George Stephanopoulos about imposing a vaccine mandate. He said there wasn’t authority to enforce that, and that the president would simply have to convince governors and mayors to do so:

STEPHANOPOULOS: And once we get it, if it is safe, if it is effective, will you mandate its use?

BIDEN: The answer is, depending on how clear there’s — vaccines, they say, have a very positive impact, and they are going to affect positively 85 percent of the American public. There’s

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