Biden Announces Sweeping New Vaccine Mandates for Businesses, Federal Workers
All employers with 100 or more employees would have to require that their workers be vaccinated or undergo at least weekly COVID-19 testing under a new plan announced by President Biden to curb the spread of the pandemic. Biden also said that he would require most healthcare facilities that accept Medicare or Medicaid funding to vaccinate their employees, which the White House believes will cover 50,000 locations. The president also signed an executive order compelling all federal employees to get vaccinated — without an option for those who prefer to be regularly tested instead — in an effort to create a model he hopes state governments will embrace. In addition, he is ordering all staffers in Head Start programs, along with Defense Department and federally operated schools for Native Americans, to be vaccinated. The moves represent a major escalation by Biden of the pressure against those who have resisted vaccination. The announcement comes amid growing signs that the highly contagious Delta variant, and the persistence of vaccine resistance, are combining to drag out the pandemic. The most far-reaching action is likely to be a regulation requiring all businesses with more than 100 employees to mandate vaccinations for all their workers or require them to take weekly coronavirus tests. The White House estimates that the policy will affect about 80 million workers, or two-thirds of the country's workforce.
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