Covid-19: Joe Biden makes vaccination compulsory for millions of employees

The plan is “Courageous and ambitious”, in the words of the White House spokeswoman. the US President Joe Biden announced Thursday, September 9, an acceleration in the fight against Covid-19 in the United States. Vaccination becomes compulsory for millions of employees in the public and private sectors.

The US president signed an executive order requiring the approximately 4 million federal employees to be vaccinated, without the possibility of escaping the syringe by being tested regularly, according to a document released by the White House. Employees of subcontractors working with federal agencies are also concerned.

Federal officials will have 75 days to be fully vaccinated, or face disciplinary action, Psaki added, stressing that there would be “Limited exceptions” due to disability or religious objections. The White House had previously imposed vaccination on the military and staff of nursing homes receiving federal subsidies.

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For the private sector, the Ministry of Labor will introduce the obligation to be vaccinated or to perform a weekly screening test for employees of companies with more than 100 employees, or more than 80 million people.

The president also plans to call on the organizers of major sporting or cultural events to make public entry conditional on proof of vaccination or a negative test. The objective is “To reduce the number of unvaccinated Americans (…) to decrease hospitalizations and deaths, to allow our children to go to school safe and to keep our economy strong”Presidential spokesperson Jen Psaki told a press conference.

The White House also wants to facilitate screening tests and extend the wearing of masks (travel, federal buildings) to curb the epidemic. A national recall campaign for Covid-19 vaccines is also due to start from September 20.

Republican officials denounced a “Madness” and a plan “Unconstitutional”, in particular on the large business component. For his part, Joe Biden has pinned “An identified minority of Americans” support by “An identified minority of political leaders” that prevent the United States from ” turn the page “ of Covid-19 by refusing to be vaccinated.

“Nearly 80 million Americans have still not been vaccinated and, to make matters better, elected officials are actively working to undermine the fight against Covid-19”, which is “Unacceptable”, he said. He was referring in particular to the situation in Florida, where Governor Ron DeSantis has banned school districts from implementing mandatory masks in schools. A decision which is the subject of a bitter legal battle.

Joe Biden’s speech comes against a backdrop of an epidemic resurgence since the beginning of the summer because of the Delta variant while a part of Americans remain reluctant or opposed to being vaccinated.

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This new “Strategy” Declined in six parts, aims to convince the 80 million Americans still unvaccinated. It comes as Joe Biden suffered several setbacks this summer on the health, economic and political fronts, punctuated by an avalanche of criticism over his management of the evacuations of civilians from Afghanistan at the end of August, in the midst of chaos after the return to power of the Taliban. .

Jen Psaki refuted a “Overconfidence” of the president, who had assured that the country had “Taken over” on the Covid-19 on July 4, National Day. He had failed in his goal of having 70% of adults having received at least one dose of the vaccine by that date. The United States did not reach this rate until August 3. Only 53.3% of the population is fully vaccinated, according to health authorities, in this country having recorded the most deaths linked to the new coronavirus in the world, with more than 653,000 deaths.

In addition to the health component, the White House also hopes to revive the economy with loans with simplified procedures for SMEs, severely affected by the epidemic. Mr. Biden should finally call for the holding of a world summit on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly from September 22, to respond to the Covid-19 crisis and relaunch vaccination in emerging countries.

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