President Joe Biden slammed unvaccinated Americans and ordered vaccine mandates. The White House seemed to move from incentivizing vaccine takers to penalizing those who refuse to do so.
Biden Hits The Unvaccinated
Speaking at the White House, Biden sharply criticized the millions of Americans who remained unvaccinated. Biden noted that around 80 million Americans remain unvaccinated.
“We are in the tough stretch and it could last for a while,” Biden said. He also deplored the fact that despite the widespread availability of vaccines, many chose not to get inoculations.
“We’ve been patient. But our 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.”
Not everybody bought into the message. Republican leaders and some worker groups accused the president of going too far. Some hinted at possible legal challenges against his vaccine mandates.
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South Carolina Republican Governor Henry McMaster issued a statement in reaction. “Biden and the radical Democrats (have) thumbed their noses at the Constitution,” McMaster said.
Meanwhile, American Federation of Government Employees National President Everett Kelley insisted that “changes like this should be negotiated with our bargaining units where appropriate.”
Groups Hailed Biden’s Effort
In contrast, other groups had words of support for Biden’s latest efforts to curb coronavirus. This included groups such as the American Medical Association, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the Business Roundtable. Despite the support, the groups did not specifically address the vaccine mandate order.
Biden’s new vaccine mandate requires companies with more than 100 workers to have all workers vaccinated. Those who have yet to complete their inoculations will need a weekly test for the virus.
The order affects roughly about 80 million Americans. In addition, 17 million American workers at medical centers that process Medicare or Medicaid will need vaccines as well.
Biden To Require Vaccines For Government Employees and Contractors
Also, the President will require vaccination for workers at the executive branch. Contractors who deal with the federal government will also need to show proof of vaccination. This will also add to the estimated total of 100 million workers targeted by the White House vaccine mandates.
The announcements are part of the new action plan outlined by Biden yesterday. The orders hope to arrest an increasing number of new coronavirus cases across the country.
Last July, Biden prematurely celebrated the United States’ victory from the virus. Instead, the US is now reeling from a 300% increase in COVID-19 infections daily, a 250% rise in hospitalizations, and twice the number of deaths compared to the same time last year.
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Double The Amount of Fines
Biden will also move to double the amount of fines for airline passengers who refuse to wear masks during flights. He also targeted Americans who won’t maintain face-covering requirements on federal property. They’ll use guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a basis for writing up violators.
For companies, the new rules will also impose fines for companies that fail mandating vaccines or enforcing weekly tests. A forthcoming rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will issue guidelines for this.
Watch the ABC News video reporting that President Joe Biden announces new COVID-19 vaccine mandates:
Do you agree with making things more difficult for unvaccinated Americans? Do you think these measures will help increase the vaccination rate?
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