https://www.huffpost.com/entry/vaccine ... 19c5023860President Joe Biden on Thursday announced sweeping vaccination and testing requirements for federal government workers, contractors and even private sector employees, as his administration works to fight the spreading coronavirus.
All federal workers and contractors will need to get fully vaccinated in the coming weeks, as will health care workers at providers that receive federal funding through Medicaid and Medicare. The administration will also require all businesses with 100 or more employees to require testing at least once a week for unvaccinated workers.
The directives represent a significant step in pushing the private sector, an area where the president has been hesitant to use federal powers too heavily.
These new standards are part of Biden’s six-part plan to respond to yet another surge in COVID-19 cases, which announced Thursday. The plan is largely focused on increasing the rate of vaccinations in the United States among eligible populations.
Biden showed serious frustration with unvaccinated Americans while announcing the plan.
“Many of us are frustrated with the nearly 80 million Americans who are still not vaccinated,” Biden said.
“We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin,” he added, addressing unvaccinated people directly and reiterating that the vaccine is free, safe and available.
About 75% of Americans have gotten at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine. The U.S. was quicker than other industrialized countries to get people vaccinated in early months, but vaccination rates have slowed significantly, putting the nation behind most of Western Europe and Scandinavia.
“The path ahead, even with the delta variant, is not nearly as bad as last winter, but what makes it incredibly more frustrating is that we have the tools to combat COVID-19 and a distinct minority of Americans supported by a distinct minority of elected officials are keeping us from turning the corner,” Biden said. “These pandemic politics are making people sick, causing unvaccinated people to die.”
The more transmissible delta variant of the coronavirus has led to a spike in hospitalizations and deaths as a wave of infections has spread primarily through unvaccinated populations.
“This is the pandemic of the unvaccinated,” one senior administration official said Thursday. “But with the unvaccinated filling our hospitals and putting our kids and economy at risk, their actions are affecting us all.”
Tyson Foods workers receive COVID-19 vaccines from health officials at the facility in Joslin, Illinois.
The administration has been slow to adopt vaccination mandates, but it has been increasingly willing to implement such policies as death tolls go up, including requirements around nursing homes and the military.
In the coming weeks, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which has overseen compliance with federal COVID-19 safety regulations, will require companies with 100 or more workers to either mandate vaccination or require unvaccinated workers to test negative for COVID-19 on at least a weekly basis before coming into work.
I expect DeSatan in Florida and Abbott/Paxton in Texas are sharping their crayons to sue the Federal Government and Biden over this liberal Democrats power takeover.