Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Biden pushes federal workers – hard – to be vaccinated

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden announces strict new testing, masking and removal requirements for federal employees who cannot – or do not want to – show that they have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, with the goal of increasing sluggish vaccine numbers among millions of Americans. sign federal salaries and set an example for employers across the country.

Biden’s move for the federal government – by far the largest employer in the country – comes amid rising coronavirus numbers, driven by pockets of vaccine resistance and the more contagious delta variant. A number of large corporations and some local governments are setting new requirements on their own, but the administration feels that much more is needed.

However, back pressure is sure. The action puts Biden at the center of a heated political debate surrounding the government’s ability to force Americans to follow public health guidelines.

In an effort to soften the opposition, officials have been careful to emphasize that the move does not amount to a vaccine mandate, but imposes stricter restrictions on masking, testing, social distance and travel on federal employees to encourage them to be vaccinated to become.

This may work because evidence so far shows that workers would rather get the vaccine than handle burdens they consider heavy on their jobs, said Lawrence Gostin, a professor of global health law at Georgetown University Law School.

“People would rather roll up their sleeves and get a jerk than test weekly and undergo universal masking,” he said. “In many ways, it really is not a mandate, it gives workers a choice.”

About 60% of American adults are fully vaccinated. Biden set a goal on July 4 to get at least one shot in 70% of adults, and is still not quite there. The latest figure is 69.3.

According to the Office of Personnel Management, the executive branch employed more than 2.7 million civilians by 2020, with some of the most important numbers in Republican-led southern states, including Texas and Florida, where there is still high vaccine resistance. .

But Thursday’s move is not just about federal workers.

The administration hopes it will push private enterprises to put their workers harder to get vaccinations that, although widely recognized as safe and effective, have not yet received the full approval of the Food and Drug Administration.

“I think we’ve reached this tipping point, and Biden’s announcement will provide a lot of air coverage for companies and boards that face difficult decisions,” said Jeff Hyman, a business writer and recruiter for Chicago in Chicago. up companies.

Nation World News Desk
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