WASHINGTON – U.S. – (WARSOOR) – President Joe Biden on Thursday announced a new six-point plan to combat the surge in recent weeks of delta variant coronavirus cases and deaths, including sweeping vaccine mandates and other measures.
Biden ordered 2.5 million federal workers and contractors, workers in most hospital and health care settings, and any employee of a company with more than 100 workers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus as part of a new effort to control the infectious disease.
Employees of large private companies may opt for weekly testing for the virus in lieu of being inoculated, but the new order eliminates that option for federal workers.
Some companies are already requiring their workers to get vaccinated or lose their jobs.
“If you want to work with the federal government or do business with us, get vaccinated,” Biden said in a speech Thursday evening, stressing that he wanted to protect vaccinated American workers from potentially unvaccinated co-workers.
Biden also announced that the Department of Labor would require relevant businesses to provide paid time off for their employees to receive the vaccine.
It was not immediately clear if Biden’s order covering federal workers and contractors would allow for exceptions for those seeking religious or medical exemptions from vaccination.
The president also spelled out new efforts to persuade unvaccinated Americans to get inoculated, protect those already vaccinated with booster shots in coming weeks, keep schools open, increase testing and require face masks in some situations, advance the economic recovery and improve care for those who have contracted COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.
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