Biden is expected to demand that the vast majority of workers and federal contractors get vaccinated.

President Biden will sign executive orders on Thursday requiring the vast majority of federal workers and contractors who do business wi...


President Biden will sign executive orders on Thursday requiring the vast majority of federal workers and contractors who do business with the government to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, as part of an aggressive new plan that will also put pressure on private companies, States and schools to adopt more stringent vaccination and testing policies as the Delta variant continues to spread across the United States.

The mandate will apply to employees of thexecutive branch, including the White House and all federal agencies and members of the armed forces – a workforce of over 4 million – but not to those who work for Congress or the federal court system, according to a person familiar with the plan.

The spread of the highly infectious variant had pushed the country’s average daily number of cases to more than 150,000 for the first time since late January, overwhelming hospitals in hard-hit areas and killing around 1,500 people a day. The outbreak has alarmed Biden and his senior health advisers, who see mass immunization as the only way to bring the pandemic under control.

Mr Biden, who was briefed by his team of coronavirus advisers on Wednesday afternoon, is expected to deliver a speech at 5 p.m. EST, which will address about six areas his administration can encourage – or, to At this stage, push – more eligible Americans receive vaccines.

Mr Biden had previously pushed federal officials to get vaccinated by announcing that those who refused would have to undergo regular testing for the coronavirus. But the push, coupled with the recent Food and Drug Administration decision to grant full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to people 16 years of age and older, has caused it to take more aggressive action, thereby ruling out the possibility to test, officials said. .

Two officials familiar with the plan said its underlying message would be that the only way to get back to some sense of normalcy was to get as many people vaccinated as possible.

“We know that increased vaccinations will stop the spread of the pandemic, bring the pandemic under control, bring people back to normal life,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Wednesday. “That’s our goal, so we want to be specific about what we’re trying to achieve. “

FDA decision last month to grant full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has already prompted the Pentagon require the military to be vaccinated. Mr Biden said at the time that the approval should allay any lingering doubts about the vaccination and boost more mandates.

When asked if Mr Biden would add more details to existing policies or describe measures that would have an immediate and general effect on Americans, Ms Psaki replied, “It depends on whether you are vaccinated or not.”

Administration officials are seeing signs that more people in the United States are ready for injections – some 14 million received their first injections in August, four million more than in July, Psaki said. But about 27% of the eligible U.S. population aged 12 and older has not received any Covid vaccine, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In some of the hardest-hit states, the percentage of unvaccinated is higher: 42% in Texas, for example, and 38% in Florida.

About 1.3 million fully vaccinated people received a third injection after federal authorities approved it for people with weakened immune systems. Mr Biden has publicly supported the idea of ​​expanding the availability of third injections as boosters for more of the population, but health experts have advised the White House not to promote it at this time.

On Wednesday, Ms Psaki said the White House was working on a recall plan, but did not give a timeline. She told reporters that Mr Biden chose Thursday to give a detailed speech on the virus because he understood it was “a priority for Americans” as they return to schools and offices.

The president will also seek to turn things around after a difficult month for his administration, by diverting the public from a chaotic and violent end to the war in Afghanistan and turning them back to his administration’s efforts to curb a pandemic that has rocked everyone. facets of America’s life.

But amid renewed fears of the virus’ damaging effects on the economy and the prevalence of a troublesome variant, even Mr Biden’s allies say it will take more than a speech to allay concerns that the virus is out of a president’s control again.

“He ran on the skill, bringing adults back into the room,” said Nick Rathod, former home policy adviser to President Barack Obama. “It’s something he has to master and show his skill level. I think that’s why he was hired.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Biden is expected to demand that the vast majority of workers and federal contractors get vaccinated.
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