Biden admin will use OSHA rule to impose vaccine mandates on businesses


WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — President Joe Biden plans to outline a six-pronged federal effort to boost COVID-19 vaccinations and curb the surging delta variant of the coronavirus that is killing thousands each week and jeopardizing the nation’s economic recovery.

The Biden administration will announce that all employers with 100+ employees must either mandate vaccines or test weekly. The requirement for large companies to mandate vaccinations or weekly testing for employees will be enacted through a forthcoming rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that carries penalties of $14,000 per violation, an administration official told The Associated Press.

Source says Biden to require federal workers, contractors to get vaccine

Previously all federal workers and those in health care working at facilities receiving Medicare or Medicaid were mandated to be vaccinated. Thursday, that requirement was extended to all federal contractors.

Biden is expected to give more details on the steps and additional measures in a afternoon speech Thursday.

NewsNation will stream President Biden’s remarks on the latest efforts to fight COVID-19 in the player above.

The overall core components of the plan include vaccinating the unvaccinated, protecting the vaccinated, keeping schools open, increasing testing and masking, promoting economic recovery, improving care for those with COVID-19.

Biden will encourage vaccine mandates for workforces and schools along with providing additional funding to ensure schools are safely reopened.

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Los Angeles public schools are expected to follow that encouragement by mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for all students 12 and older. It is already required for all staff members.

One area of Biden’s proposed plan that has already received scrutiny is his call for “easy access to booster shots.”

The Biden administration has said booster shots will be available by Sept. 20, but federal regulators have not confirmed if they will meet that deadline due to questions about the data related to a third shot.

The renewed focus on vaccine mandates and additional shots comes as the U.S. continues seeing case rates rise with the delta and mu variants.

The U.S. death toll stands at more than 650,000, with one major forecast model projecting it will top 750,000 by Dec. 1.

Approximately 63% of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 53% are fully vaccinated according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Moderna working on hybrid COVID-19/Flu vaccine

Vaccination rates have been increasing over the last few weeks since case rates began increasing again, but there are concerns that the U.S. will not have a significant enough percentage of the population vaccinated without mandates.

Mandates are already in place for federal employees, the military, multiple large private businesses and municipal offices.

Since United Airlines announced its mandate, more than half of the unvaccinated employees have received their shot. The remaining workers will risk termination or unpaid leave until they get a vaccine.

“We know that increasing vaccinations will stop the spread of the pandemic, will get the pandemic under control, will return people to normal life. That’s what our objective is. So we want to be specific about what we’re trying to achieve,” Psaki said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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