President Joe Biden of the United States has announced new Covid-19 regulations requiring large-scale employers to vaccinate their employees or face weekly testing.
The measures also include a vaccination requirement for millions of federal government employees, and they come as the number of cases in the country continues to rise.
With the development of the more transmissible Delta strain, hospitals in some states have surpassed capacity.
Around 100 million workers would be affected by the new rules.
“This isn’t about personal choice or freedom; it’s about protecting yourself and people around you,” Trump said as he presented his proposal.
Since last year, almost 650,000 Americans have perished as a result of Covid-19. In the United States, 80 million individuals are still unvaccinated.
In a speech at the White House on Thursday, Vice President Biden outlined his idea.
He said he has instructed the US Department of Labor to force all private firms with 100 or more employees to demand the shot or at least once a week request confirmation of a negative coronavirus test from employees.
The same restrictions will apply to almost 17 million healthcare employees who operate in facilities that receive federal funds, he added.
Some Republicans reacted angrily to the idea, arguing that the government should not interfere in people’s personal health decisions.
“Biden and the radical Democrats [have] thumbed their noses at the Constitution,” stated South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster.
A Deeper Analysis
The time for sweet-talking and persuading Americans to get the Covid-19 vaccination is passed. The moment has come for government mandates.
That was Joe Biden’s frank message to the country on Thursday afternoon. While many Americans have had at least one vaccination, the president blamed the unvaccinated 25% of the population and politicians who he said were “actively attempting to undermine the fight” for the country’s continuing health issues.
Mr. Biden said that his new vaccine orders were not about freedom or personal choice, but some Americans may see them as a forced choice between immunization and keeping their jobs. While the regulations may boost the number of Americans who get vaccinated, they will also enflame an already tense political issue.
Mr. Biden delivered an upbeat speech in July about how Americans will soon declare their “independence” from the virus. That day of freedom has yet to arrive due to the Delta variation. As a result, the US economy has suffered, as have popular opinions of the president’s handling of the pandemic. This is Vice President Biden’s attempt to utilize government power to change the tide.
The New Plan In Detail
The president’s proposal enlists the full force of his administrative authority to force unvaccinated Americans to get the vaccine.
Some of his initiatives address frequent concerns among Americans who have not yet received the vaccination, such as not wanting to miss work or recover from side effects.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will announce rules that major firms give paid time off for workers to be vaccinated in the coming weeks, according to the president (Osha).
Businesses who do not follow the new regulations might face fines of thousands of dollars each infraction.
A second federal mandate replaces Mr Biden’s prior directive, which allowed government employees to undergo regular testing if they did not want to get vaccinated. The White House estimates that 2.5 million government workers will be affected. Employees who refuse to take the vaccine may now be sacked.
Approximately two-thirds of all US workers must now be vaccinated, according to the law.
Thousands of individuals in the United States die each week from Covid-19, the most of whom are unvaccinated.
The crisis has shattered Mr. Biden’s expectations that an effective pandemic response would boost Democratic presidential support.
Mr. Biden also specified the following rules:
- Fines for passengers on aircraft who refuse to wear a mask will be doubled.
- Invoking the Defense Production Act to expedite the development of at-home quick testing kits
- Deploying healthcare professionals to regions where there are a lot of instances
- Increasing the frequency of free monoclonal antibody therapy shipments to hospitals on a weekly basis
The Current State Of COVID In The US
Despite the Delta-fueled spike, mortality rates are still lower than they were last winter in most areas. However, certain areas with historically low vaccination rates have lately experienced record-breaking illness rates.
“The road ahead, even with the Delta variation, isn’t nearly as terrible as it was last winter,” Vice President Biden said in his address on Thursday.
“What makes it so aggravating is that a small group of Americans is preventing us from turning the corner.”
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 64 percent of people in the United States have received all of their vaccines. Over 75% of people have had their first dose of Covid-19 vaccination.
Separately, education authorities in Los Angeles agreed on Thursday to require kids aged 12 and above to be vaccinated by January in order to attend school, unless they have a medical or other exemption.
The law will very certainly be challenged in court.