GOP Accuses Biden of Ignoring Chicago Violence as He Heads There to Tout Vaccine Mandates

President Joe Biden is heading to Chicago to promote vaccine mandates, but the GOP is accusing him of ignoring violent crime there.

"Democrats have failed Chicago for decades and Joe Biden and his policies are no different. Biden should use this trip to focus on public safety not forced vaccine mandates," Republican National Committee (RNC) spokesman Paris Dennard said in a statement Thursday.

According to the White House, Biden will visit a Clayco construction site in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, and deliver a public address promoting COVID-19 vaccine requirements that businesses are embracing.

The RNC's statement accused the president of promoting "forced vaccine mandates on minorities."

The White House didn't immediately respond to Newsweek's request for comment on the RNC's allegations.

The White House released a report Thursday morning that showed that 28 million eligible Americans have gotten vaccinated following the president's July announcement of a vaccine requirement for federal employees.

"As this report demonstrates, it is clear that vaccination requirements result in millions more people getting vaccinated," the report concluded. "Without vaccination requirements, we face endless months of chaos in our hospitals, further detrimental impacts on our economy, and anxiety in our schools."

Biden initially said he didn't expect Americans to face vaccine mandates, but he embraced the idea and encouraged businesses to adopt them amid a surge in cases as the highly contagious Delta variant.

The report out Thursday found more than 3,500 organizations have already adopted vaccination requirements, "and thousands more will require vaccinations in the weeks ahead."

COVID-19 has killed more than 704,000 people in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More than 186.4 million people in the United States have gotten fully vaccinated.

In addition to his mandate on federal contractors, health care workers and most federal employees, Biden last month directed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to develop a policy for private employers with 100 workers or more to require employee vaccinations or take weekly tests.

The requirements will touch nearly two-thirds of the working population.

Several schools and colleges also have been adopting mandates or providing incentives.

The RNC statement pointed to a recent study that suggested people younger than 40 in Chicago were more likely to die from homicide than COVID-19.

Chicago is currently on track to have its highest annual murder tally in decades. According to the Chicago Sun-Times homicide tracker, nearly 800 people have been killed in the past 12 months.

Biden previously traveled to Chicago in July. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at the time that the administration was "closely monitoring" the violence in the city and that the president's agenda would help curb violence through coronavirus relief funding and the administration's gun crime reduction strategy, among other efforts.

Biden heads to Chicago to promote vaccines
Presdent Biden is travelling to Chicago to highlight the importance of Covid-19 vaccine requirements. Above, he waves before boarding Airforce One at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland on October 7, 2021. Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty Images