Biden will set vaccine requirements for federal workers, private companies


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U.S. President Joe Biden plans to require all federal employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and to announce vaccination requests for private companies that receive government contracts that could affect millions of new employees.

As the number of COVID-19 cases increases among the unvaccinated, Biden will outline in a speech at 17:00 ET (2100 GMT) the new steps that schools and workplaces can take to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Biden will sign an executive order on Thursday, which refers to about four million American government workers.

He will also announce new vaccine requests for private companies that get government contracts, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

Any such demands could affect millions of new employees, including hospital workers who have contracts with the government to treat patients on Medicaid or Medicare, welfare programs for the poor, people with disabilities, and older Americans.

“Our overall goal here is to reduce the number of unvaccinated Americans,” she said, noting that 80 million have not yet been vaccinated.

    This year we can expect an increase in the number of vaccinated (credit: MIRIAM ALSTER / FLASH90) This year we can expect an increase in the number of vaccinated (credit: MIRIAM ALSTER / FLASH90)

“We want to reduce that number, reduce hospitalizations and deaths, and allow our children to go to school safely.”

Federal workers’ unions have suggested they accept the vaccine’s mandate on Thursday.

Federal workers will have 75 days to “vaccinate” to be vaccinated, and will then be referred to human resources for counseling and possible disciplinary action, Psaki said.


Despite an extensive campaign by the Biden administration calling on all eligible Americans to receive free vaccines, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), just over 53% of Americans are fully vaccinated.

The disease has killed more than 654,000 people in the United States, and deaths and hospitalizations have risen sharply as the easily transmitted Delta variant of the virus has spread.

In July, Biden said federal workers must be vaccinated or face regular testing for COVID-19 and other restrictions such as mandatory face covering in the workplace.

Biden’s speech will also include increased testing and wearing of masks, protecting the economic recovery from the recession caused by the pandemic, and improving health care for people infected with COVID-19, Psaki said.

“He will talk directly to the vaccinated people and their frustration and wants them to hear how we will build on what we have done so far to bring the virus under control and return to some normal version in this case country,” she said.

COVID’s recovery plans at the White House and the predicted U.S. recovery were based on the vast majority of eligible Americans being vaccinated this year. But the issue of public health has been politicized, with a vocal minority rejecting the recordings and covering up mandates, claiming it violates their individual rights.


The expansion of the Delta variant has caused concern as children return to school, and has also upset investors, worsened plans to return companies to offices and reduced employment.

With 160,000 new infections a day, the country is “still in a state of pandemic … It’s not even modestly good control,” Biden’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci.

“You have to get below 10,000 (a day) before you start feeling comfortable,” Fauci added.

The White House plans to offer supportive injections by providing additional protection to those who are fully vaccinated. This contradicts the arguments of the World Health Organization and other proponents who say that with limited vaccine stocks in the world, rich countries should pause incentive programs until more people around the world are vaccinated.

But because Delta causes more symptomatic penetrating infections among fully vaccinated individuals, most vaccinated Americans want a booster, a recent Reuters / Ipsos study found.

Psaki told MSNBC that the White House wants COVID-19 tests to be easier to obtain.

Abbott Laboratories and other test manufacturers are trying to increase production as cases grow, after declining in recent months. CVS Health Corp. recently imposed restrictions on the number of home tests that customers can purchase.

The White House said the federal government could not prescribe vaccines across the country, but encouraged school districts, businesses and other entities to request vaccines.

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