Former Vice President Mike Pence on Friday morning criticized President Biden for saying he and others are growing impatient with Americans who are not getting a COVID-19 vaccine, saying, "That's not how the American people expect to be spoken to."
Pence, who led the Trump administration's coronavirus task force, made the comment on the Fox News Channel, in a rare TV interview after leaving office roughly seven months ago.
"Our patience is wearing thin," Biden said Thursday evening in a national address TV in which he announce a multi-prong plan to help stop a surge of the virus by mandating vaccinations for federal employees and some private sector workers.
"The president's speech yesterday was unlike anything I've ever heard from an American president," Pence continued Friday. "To have the president of the United States say that he's been patient but his patience is wearing thin – that's not how the American people expect to be spoken to by our elected leaders. I mean the president should simply continue, as we've done, to lead by example, encouraged people to take the vaccine."
He also challenged Biden's view that deciding whether get vaccinated is not about freedom.
"It's exactly about freedom," Pence said. "America is about freedom and the ability to make the best decision for your family, for your business."
He also said the approach the Biden administration is taking now on stopping the virus spreading – "with this new surge of mandates and dictates" – does not respect leadership at the state level.