Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) raised eyebrows when she claimed President Joe Biden’s new COVID-19 vaccine mandates were just a “diversion away from 9/11.”

“They are leading by coercion,” Ernst railed Friday against the Biden White House’s sweeping directives on Fox News, joining the chorus of GOP criticism leveled against the plans that seek to end the pandemic.

“And I would agree with the point that is being made by so many of my colleagues that this is a diversion, away from 9/11,” Ernst continued. “And away from the 20th anniversary, and away from the debacle that was his Afghanistan withdrawal.”

Sen. Joni Ernst claims Biden's new vaccine plan is a "diversion away from 9/11"

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 10, 2021

On Ernst’s 9/11 comments, critics on Twitter issued a collective, “huh?”

Some also reminded Ernst that Biden will spend the landmark anniversary visiting all three crash sites. Former President Donald Trump, meanwhile, will be commentating on Evander Holyfield’s boxing comeback.

Wait… I got so distracted by the pandemic hoo ha that I completely forgot that 9/11 ever happened!Thank God for Joni the hog castrating advocate for the truth.If she hadn’t reminded me, I never would have remembered that horrific day.Joe Biden, you crafty devil you.I see you

— Jo (@JoJoFromJerz) September 10, 2021

Wait, what?

— Jeff Dannenberg (@jecrda) September 11, 2021

Please if this statement from Sen. Ernst makes any sense at all to you – please explain it to me – at this point Republicans would blame Pres. Biden for a rainy day and simultaneously for the Sun coming out again.

— Cathy Coleman (@CathyJoeGPT) September 10, 2021

A diversion from an event where he will be appearing at not just Ground Zero, and the Pentagon, but also at Fl. 93 crash site? These guys really have to stretch for some of these criticisms.

— Good Hart Girl (@GoodHart1989) September 10, 2021

Guess @JoniErnst didn't hear that Trump's plans to honor the 20th anniversary of 9/11 consist of promoting a boxing match.

— The Republican Accountability Project (@AccountableGOP) September 10, 2021

How about the “big boxing match” her favorite “prez” is going to be broadcasting on 9/11 hmmmm?

— Denise Helland (@mountain58) September 10, 2021

"A diversion away from 9/11"It's been 20 years jfc

— Reese (@JackJackington) September 10, 2021

The thing that happened 20 years ago? Is that what she's saying?

— pizzmoe™ #VaxUpOrShutUp (@pizzmoe) September 10, 2021 RELATED… Donald Trump Jr.’s Appeal For Questions To Ask His Dad Goes Exactly How You’d Think Kimmel Hammers Pence For 'Most Obliviously Hilarious Statement' Of 2021 So Far Ted Cruz Tries Trolling Patton Oswalt, Who Just Puts The Joke On Him Download Calling all HuffPost superfans! Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost’s next chapter Join HuffPost

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