US President Joe Biden is mandating the vaccination of 100 American million workers. In a forceful speech on Thursday, he said that all companies with more than 100 workers need to have vaccination or weekly testing. He has mandated vaccination for health care workers, federal contractors and the vast majority of federal workers, who could face disciplinary measures if they refuse.
He said that he was deeply upset by the reluctance of millions of people to get vaccinated. About 80 million people are eligible but still have not received a jab.
Mr. Biden also moved to mandate shots for health care workers, federal contractors and the vast majority of federal workers, who could face disciplinary measures if they refuse.
“We’ve been patient,” Mr. Biden said in a cranky message to those who refuse to be vaccinated. “But our patience is wearing thin. And your refusal has cost all of us.”
“In a country as large as ours, that’s 25 percent minority. That 25 percent can cause a lot of damage, and they are. The unvaccinated overcrowd our hospitals or overrun the emergency rooms and intensive care units, leaving no room for someone with a heart attack or pancreatitis or cancer.”
A number of people have excused themselves by saying that they were waiting until a vaccine was fully approved by the FDA. But late in August the FDA gave full approved to the Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine for people 16 and older. “So, the time for waiting is over,” the President said sternly.
“If you break the rules, be prepared to pay — and by the way, show some respect,” Mr. Biden said, referring to airline passengers who refuse to mask up. “The anger you see on television toward flight attendants and others doing their jobs is wrong. It’s ugly.”
Biden’s mandate is being introduced in an extremely polarised environment. Several Republican governors have blocked attempts to mandate masks, close schools, or require vaccines. The President is setting the stage for a tough political fight. “If they will not help,” he said, “if those governors won’t help us beat the pandemic, I’ll use my power as president to get them out of the way.”
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