President Joe Biden raised more than a few eyebrows Thursday with his visit to a Clayco Inc. construction site in the Chicago suburb of Elk Grove.
Turns out, the CEO of the large building firm, Bob Clark, is a major Democratic donor who contributed more than $137,000 to Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign, according to Fox Business, which cited Federal Election Commission records.
Biden’s appearance coincided with Clayco announcing a new vaccinate-or-test requirement for its workforce, with the president doubling down on his efforts to force Americans to get vaccinated by dialing up the pressure on businesses to issue vaccine mandates for their employees.
The president praised Clayco officials for their actions, “You’re setting an example and a powerful example. I’m calling on more employers to act.”
“There is no other way to beat the pandemic than to get the vast majority of the American people vaccinated,” he said. “While I didn’t race to do it right away, that’s why I’ve had to move toward requirements.”
Clark not only contributed to Biden’s 2020 campaign, but also served as a bundler, bringing in at least $100,000 to Biden’s 2020 campaign, Forbes reported. He also contributed $1.6 million to Democratic campaigns in total.
St. Louis-based Clayco was founded in 1984 and is a privately held architectural, design, engineering and construction company with 2,400 employees and $3.3 billion in annual revenue, according to Forbes, which noted that Biden’s visit to the Clayco site was the only stop on his itinerary.
American Accountability Foundation president Tom Jones told Fox Business that Biden’s Thursday’s visit was “blatant paid-to-play.”
“Whether it is ambassadorships or other senior administration positions, the Biden Administration has continuously rewarded those who financially boosted their campaign,” Jones explained. “Continuing the swampy practices of blatant paid-to-play should be of no surprise considering Biden has been a position for the past 40 years.”
Then again, given all the attention on the president’s son, Hunter Biden, and his controversial business dealings, Biden is not easily deterred by a little media coverage on financial matters.
With thousands of Americans being fired for refusing to get vaccinated, Biden characterized mandates as “tough medicine,” and called for more employers to get on board.
“I’m calling on more employers to act. My message is: Require your employees to get vaccinated. Vaccinations are going to beat this pandemic,” he said. “I know that vaccination requirements are tough medicine, unpopular to some, politics for others, but they’re life-saving, they’re game-changing for our country. Without them, we face endless months of chaos in our hospitals, damage to our economy and anxiety in our schools and empty restaurants and much less commerce.”
Insisting that vaccines work, Biden said to “look at the bigger story” when it comes to “reports of mass firings and hundreds of people losing their jobs.”
Without referencing hundreds of United employee being fired, he praised the airliner for its vaccine requirement: “I’ve spoken with Scott Kirby, CEO of United Airlines, who’s here today. United went from 59 percent of their employees to 99 percent of their employees [being vaccinated] in less than two months after implementing the requirement.”