President Joe Biden ordered sweeping new federal vaccine requirements to be applied to as many as 100 million Americans, including private-sector workers as well as federal contractors. This was to curb the rising COVID-19 delta variant, a report said.
Speaking at the White House on Thursday, Biden sharply criticized the tens to millions of Americans still not vaccinated despite months-long incentives and availability.
“We have been patient,” He said.
“But our patience is wearing thin. Your refusal has cost us all.” Unvaccinated minorities “can do a lot of harm, and they are.”
Republican leaders and union chiefs said that Biden was trying too hard to control workers and private companies, signifying the legal challenges ahead.
However, Biden was praised for getting the nation vaccinated by the American Medical Association and the National Association of Manufacturers. There were also strong praises for Biden’s work with the Business Roundtable, though his mandate for private businesseswas not mentioned.
The expansive rules mandate that all employers with more than 100 workers require them to be vaccinated or test for the virus weekly, affecting about 80 million Americans. The nearly 17 million employees at health facilities that federal Medicare and Medicaid cover will need to be fully vaccinated.
Biden also requires vaccination of employees and contractors working with the federal government. This applies to several million more workers.
Biden announced the requirements during a Thursday afternoon White House address. It was part of an “action plan” to address coronavirus cases rising rapidly and slowing COVID-19 shot rates.