President Biden is preparing massive new rules requiring vaccines for as many as 100 million American workers as his administration tries to clamp down on the Covid surge.
The sweeping new mandates will require all companies in the private sector with more than 100 employees to have all their workers be vaccinated or submit for weekly testing. That action is expected to impact about 80 million Americans. In addition the roughly 17 million Americans who work at health-care facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid will also be required to be fully vaccinated or submit to weekly testing.
We already knew the president was going to require the roughly 2.5 million workers under the executive branch of the federal government as well as contractors to be vaccinated. But the overall plan is a clear sign the White House understands the threat from the outbreak from the delta strain. Already, thousands of people are dying weekly, and the economic recovery that was beginning to gain traction is being threatened as infections spike. This comes just two months after Biden had declared independence from the virus. But now, as cases rise and his approval ratings on the pandemic decline, the administration is taking a more targeted action.
The new rule will be implemented by OSHA, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
The central thrust of the Biden COVID-19 plan is to encourage vaccinations. Per Axios, here are some of the other components of the strategy:
- Urging large entertainment venues to require proof of vaccination or testing for entry.
- Requiring staff in school settings — including at the Head Start programs, youth program personnel at the Department of Defense and at the Bureau of Indian Education-Operated Schools — to be vaccinated.
- Providing funding to school districts to support reopening, including backfilling salaries.
- Bolstering COVID-19 testing, including increasing supply of over-the-counter at-home tests, and reducing the cost of at-home tests by ensuring top manufacturers — Walmart, Amazon and Kroger — sell at-cost for the next three months.
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