New Federal Rule Requires Businesses with more than 100 Employees to be Vaccinated or Tested Weekly
This notion could affect as many as 100 million Americans.
- By Shereen Hashem
- Sep 10, 2021
Another all-out effort to increase COVID-19 vaccinations by President Joe Biden. Thursday, President Biden announced new federal vaccine requirements affecting as many as 100 million Americans. During Biden’s speech at the White House, he criticized the amount of people who did not take the extra step of caution to become vaccinated, stating around 80 million Americans have not done so despite its months of availability.
“We’ve been patient. But out patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us,” he said, all but biting off his words. The unvaccinated minority “can cause a lot of damage, and they are.”
Republican leaders, along with some union chiefs said President Biden was pushing it while trying to interfere with private companies and workers where legal challenges may come.
Gov. Henry McMaster of South Carolina said in a statement that “Biden and the radical Democrats … have declared war against capitalism (and) thumbed their noses at the Constitution.”
AFL-CIO National President Everett Kelley insisted that “changes like this should be negotiated with our bargaining units where appropriate.”
The new rules mandate that employers with more than 100 employees must require them to either be vaccinated or test for the disease weekly, affecting around 80 million people. Roughly 17 million workers at health facilities that receive Medicare or Medicaid will also have to be fully vaccinated. President Biden is also signing an executive order to require vaccination for employees of the executive branch as well as contractors who do business with the federal government—with no alternative option. This will cover several million more workers.
President Biden says these requirements are a part of the new “action plan” created to address the latest rise in COVID-19 cases and the stagnant pace of vaccinations distributed that has raised doubts and concerns among the public on how the pandemic is being handled.
Shereen Hashem is the Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety magazine.