President Joe Biden on Thursday announced new federal vaccine mandates expected to impact nearly two-thirds of the American workforce in a sweeping move to combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The President said at a press conference that he will issue a rule to the Department of Labor mandating that all businesses with 100 or more employees either require their employees to get the vaccine or require unvaccinated employees to receive mandatory weekly COVID testing.
Biden also announced an executive order that will mandate healthcare facilities require full vaccination of staff as a condition of Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement.
“If you’re seeking care at a medical facility, you should be able to know that the people treating you are vaccinated,” Biden said.
Another executive order will require all federal executive branch workers and federal contractors to be vaccinated, without the option of weekly, opt-out testing that was provided before.
“If you want to work at the federal government or do business with us, get vaccinated,” Biden said.
Aside from some religious and disability exemptions, the vast majority of federal workers will be subject to a 75-day grace period for receiving a vaccine, according to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
Other pieces of Biden’s action plan include a rule to require paid time off for vaccinations, the doubling of fines by the TSA for airline passengers refusing to wear masks, and the expansion of the COVID-19 economic injury disaster loan programs as an additional step to help small businesses stay afloat should the coronavirus continue to impact their sales.