Jul 21, 2021
Biden alleges worker shortages are due to low wages
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President Biden alleged Wednesday that some working-class industries are facing hiring shortages because of insufficient wages.
"A lot of people who worked as waiters and waitresses decided that they don’t want to do that anymore because there’s other opportunities at higher wages," Biden said. "There’s not much distinction between not going back to work at a restaurant and not going back to work at a factory, so people are looking to change opportunities, change what they’re doing."
Biden spoke in response to a question during a CNN town hall from a restaurateur asking about hiring deficiencies nationwide. He said he thinks it is a matter of employees "looking to make more money and bargain."
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"I think your business and the tourist business is really going to be in a bind for a little while," he added.
Biden suggested that former waiters and waitresses who made $7 to $8 an hour were ditching their previous occupations for positions that pay $15 an hour.
"If you make less than $15 an hour working 40 days a week you’re making below the poverty level," the president said.
Waiters make tips and can often earn far more than $15 per hour.
Biden addressed the argument posed by GOP lawmakers who have suggested hiring shortages persist in the U.S. because federal social stimulus programs delivered throughout the pandemic have continued.
"We’re ending all those things keeping people back from going to work, etc," Biden said
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The president added, though, that he does not believe there is evidence to support the claim that unemployment benefits have kept people from applying to restaurant jobs.
"I see no evidence it has any serious impact on it," Biden said.
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Severe COVID-19 breakthrough infections extremely low among vaccinated, data shows
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As panic reaches a fever pitch over the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19, new data shows there’s only a minuscule risk of vaccinated Americans becoming seriously sick with breakthrough cases.
Out of 161 million US residents who were fully vaccinated as of July 19, just 5,601 caught a severe breakthrough infection and were hospitalized — an infinitesimal 0.0035 percent of the protected population, according to the latest CDC figures available on post-vaccination infections.
When it comes to deaths, the risk is even lower, with just 1,141 vaccinated people dying from a COVID-19 breakthrough infection — or 0.0007 percent of those fully jabbed.
Overall, the elderly were the most at risk of severe breakthrough infection, with 74 percent of people who were hospitalized or died post-vaccination over the age of 65.
By contrast, 95.5 percent of total COVID-19 deaths and 97 percent of total hospitalizations in the US are among unvaccinated people, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said earlier this month.see also
As of Thursday, 163.9 million Americans are fully immunized against the virus, representing about 49 percent of the population, CDC figures show. Fifty-seven percent of the population has received at least one dose.
While the total vaccination rate still remains below desired levels, the CDC on Tuesday issued new indoor mask guidelines in virus hotspots to try and curb the spread of the Delta variant, which is the dominant COVID-19 strain in the US.
The agency also urged everyone in K-12 schools to wear a mask when returning to class in the fall, regardless of vaccination status.Filed under Coronavirus , COVID vaccine , 7/29/21