President Biden is set to announce massive COVID requirements for companies with over 100 employees, which will require workers must be vaccinated or get tested weekly, the Associated Press reports. This new mandate will affect over 80 million American workers. Additionally, healthcare facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid must ensure that their workforce will be fully vaccinated, a move that impacts 17 million workers.
Furthermore, many millions more will be impacted by another decision which states that any contractors doing business with the federal government or working for the executive branch must be vaccinated, with no testing options available.
The decision is part of a vast effort to curb the delta variant of COVID-19 that continues to kill thousands each week. Increased vaccinations could help spur the nation’s economic recovery as well as saving lives.
The Los Angeles Board of Education is also voting Thursday on whether to require all students 12 and older to be fully vaccinated.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki noted that about 80 million adults in the U.S. remain unvaccinated, and that Biden’s “overarching objective here is to reduce the number of unvaccinated Americans.”
Biden also plans to double fines for airline passengers who refuse to wear masks on flights or maintain face coverings on federal property. Another part of his pandemic response is that retailers including Walmart, Amazon and Kroger will begin selling at-home testing kits at cost beginning this week.
Biden will also call for large entertainment venues and arenas to require vaccinations or proof of a negative test for entry.
Large companies will also be required to provide paid time off for workers to get vaccinated.
At a press conference to discuss this new mandate Biden stated that many of these big companies already have such protocols in place, singling out specifically Fox News’ vaccine requirement.
Biden points out that even Fox News has a vaccine requirement pic.twitter.com/6ZTeO9c2tg
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 9, 2021
Meanwhile, officials continue to move ahead with plans to administer booster shots of the mRNA vaccines for those who received their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine more than eight months ago, though that advisory has received pushback from those who think the vaccines should first go to countries where the immunization rate is still low.