As resistance to President Biden’s booster-shot push grows, it appears the administration is – just as we expected – upping the pressure on federal workers who haven’t yet been vaccinated – while asking private businesses to do the same. According to CNN, the Biden Admin will no longer allow workers to get tested weekly instead of taking the vaccine. Instead, he’s signing an executive order Thursday requiring all workers to get the vaccine or face indefinite suspension.
What’s more, Biden’s order will extend to employees of government contractors. Per CNN, the same standard will be extended to employees of contractors who do business with the federal government. The Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, Indian Health Service and National Institute of Health will also complete their previously announced vaccination requirements, which the White House believes has covered 2.5MM people.
This marks a significant escalation since earlier in the summer, when Biden unveiled a requirement that federal workers be vaccinated, but allowed for those who opted out to be subject to stringent mitigation measures like weekly tests.
But mostly the White House is relying on private industry to impose and enforce its vaccine requirements. But Biden also believes the White House has a responsibility to set an example.
We have one quick question though… What will the unions do?
And then there is Portland, whose city officials are preparing to exempt the police force from the “now legally dubious” vaccine mandates.
The president also plans to announce a major expansion to free testing, a step public health officials have said would be critical to containing the virus, particularly as children return to school and more workers return to the office. Plus, it would, in theory, combat claims that the administration didn’t make the vaccine “accessible” enough.
Thursday will impose more stringent vaccine rules on federal workers, and take steps to encourage private businesses to do the same, during a major speech meant to lay out a new approach to combating the coronavirus.
Biden will talk about all this and more tonight, when he unveils his plans to stop the delta variant.