Joe Biden To Announce Covid-19 Vaccination Requirement For Federal Workers

President Joe Biden, seeking to curb the spread of the Delta variant, will announce a new mandate for the federal workforce that requires them to attest to having a Covid-19 vaccination or to undergo a regimen of testing and face other restrictions.

Biden also plans to announce that he is directing the Defense Department to look into adding Covid-19 vaccinations to the list of shots required by members of the military.

The new policy also will apply to onsite federal contractors, and Biden also is seeking to extend the requirements to all such workers.

The effort is the latest White House attempt to boost vaccination rates, which stalled this month as surveys show large chunks of the population refuse to get the shots. As of Thursday, 49.8% of the population is fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But a dramatic reemergence of Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations, primarily among the unvaccinated, has led the CDC to recommend indoor mask wearing, regardless of status, in certain areas with high case surges. That includes Washington, D.C., where new mask requirements have returned on Capitol Hill and the White House.

The Biden administration’s more aggressive approach to vaccinations comes as major corporations, restaurants and live event venues are making proof of the shots as mandatory to gain access to workplaces and public sites. The White House so far has relied on a softer sell of vaccinations, via celebrities like Olivia Rodrigo and a nationwide campaign of public service announcements.

The White House plans to continue with a carrot and stick approach, as Biden also will encourage local and state governments to offer $100 each to those who get vaccinated, using funds from the American Rescue Plan. Biden also plans to announce that small- and medium- sized businesses will reimbursed for offering employees time off to get vaccinated, and will promote vaccinations among adolescents. He will call for school districts to host pop-up vaccination clinics as the new school year approaches.

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