WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Friday said the delta variant causing spikes in coronavirus cases is the main contributor for a weaker than expected jobs report for the month of August.
Speaking from the White House, Biden called out Americans who have still not gotten vaccinated amid the August jobs report showing the country gained 235,000 jobs, down from the 720,000 hires that economic experts first thought.
“There’s no question the delta variant is why today’s job report isn’t stronger,” Biden said. “I know people were looking — and I was hoping for a higher number. Even with the progress we’ve made, we’re not where we need to be in our economic recovery.”
Millions of Americans who are eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine still have not gotten the shot and the President said it is those people who are contributing to anxieties that impact the economy.
Biden said he plans to lay out steps next week for his administration to combat the coronavirus and do more to boost the economy.
“This is a continuing pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Biden said. “Too many have not gotten vaccinated, and it’s creating a lot of unease in our economy and around our kitchen tables.”
175 million people are fully vaccinated, according to the data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Biden pressed Congress to do more to get his infrastructure plan, which he says would create millions of good-paying jobs, and the $3.5 trillion budget resolution bill that is a key part of his Build Back Better plan.
Democrats face an uphill battle in the House and Senate to get both bills passed and on the President’s desk. Biden made one thing clear on Friday: he will not raise taxes on the middle class or anyone who makes less than $400,000 per year.
“We’re going to deliver these investments without raising taxes one cent on anyone making less than $400,000 a year,” he said. “Wealthy people aren’t paying the taxes they owe. We’re going to change that.”