Joe Biden took sweeping measures to get tens of millions of government workers vaccinated against COVID-19 on Thursday in a sweeping offensive to combat a reemergence of the illness.
The White House has issued tough new vaccine requirements
There will be approximately 100 million Americans affected by my proposed vaccine requirements or roughly two-thirds of the American workforce. According to the president, workers who have been vaccinated are protected from their unvaccinated colleagues. In the coming years, the Biden administration will use its executive order power and other authority to force COVID shots on 4 million federal employees who haven’t taken them already.
A White House-led effort plans to put tough financial pressure on federal contractors to allow workers to receive vaccines, as well as the over 17 million people working in hospitals and other organizations funded by Medicare and Medicaid.
Federal action had an impact on both the public and private sectors. To force businesses with 100 or more workers to vaccinate or undergo weekly blood tests, Biden has asked the Department of Labor to draft rules. This rule could potentially affect around 80 million workers throughout the country, according to Biden.
It was reported by the New York Times that people working for the federal government are to be given a 75-day grace period for vaccination. In almost all cases, except in cases of religious or disability exemptions, workers must show proof of vaccination to continue their employment or face potential disciplinary action through their workplace’s human resources department.
Several unions representing workers have already expressed resentment. Attorney Cathie McQuiston told the New York Times that organizations will follow procedures and ensure unvaccinated workers are heard fairly. It is expected that lawsuits will be filed against the new federal moves. As reported by the New York Times, Biden believes that only by getting Americans vaccinated can the country get closer to normality.
In addition to Walmart, Google, and the Walt Disney Company, workers at a number of the nation’s largest private corporations are already required to get vaccines. Aside from United Airlines, Tyson Foods, and Fox News, Biden mentioned several other companies issuing mandates during his press briefing.
Because state governments are responsible for administering vaccinations, the White House does not have the power to compel everyone to get their COVID vaccines. However, Obama’s initiative is a powerful incentive for millions.
Defending against resurgent viruses
Biden even criticized governors in states that seek to thwart attempts to mandate school masks. An online database maintained by the Times reports there are 40 million known COVID-19 cases in the United States. This is almost one-fifth of all cases in the world.
The SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant has spread across the country, and there is still almost 47 percent of the eligible population that are unvaccinated, so the COVID-19 virus has returned in the summer when many Americans thought the worst had passed. Since Sunday, the Times reports that there are 161,000 new COVID-19 cases in America every day.
Unvaccinated people account for the vast majority of hospital admissions and deaths, which greatly strains the overburdened medical system. In the Times, no state has yet reached 70 percent vaccination coverage. A key part of the new plan will be a more aggressive effort to mandate vaccinations for vaccine-hesitant Americans through government programs, schools, and businesses.
Vaccination uptake for COVID-19 has dramatically increased in recent weeks: About 14 million people enrolled in the vaccine in August, a 4 million increase compared to July. Data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate, however, that 27% of Americans who are eligible for vaccinations, anyone aged 12 years and older still have not received them. Unvaccinated rates remain high in certain states, the Times reported. In Texas, 42% are unvaccinated, while Florida has 38%.
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