Biden To Issue Vaccine Mandate For All Federal Workers
President Joe Biden is expected to issue an executive order this afternoon requiring almost all 2.1 million federal employees and contractors who do business with the federal government to be vaccinated. Unlike other governmental organizations and companies that have instituted vaccine mandates, those federal employees will not have the option of submitting to regular coronavirus testing to opt out of the mandate.
The move is seen as part of a new aggressive plan to put pressure on businesses, states and schools to implement stricter vaccination and testing policies as the coronavirus, especially the hyper-infectious Delta variant, continues to surge across the country.
Previously, the Pentagon ordered that all members of the armed services be vaccinated. Between the military and civilian workers, that means that more than four million people will be required to get a shot. Biden’s order will not apply to those who work for Congress or the federal court system.
In his speech, to be delivered about 5:00 p.m. EDT today, Biden also is expected to call for a United Nations summit on the pandemic later this month in response to the rampant spread of the Delta variant and accelerate distribution of the vaccine supply to the developing world.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki signaled the move in comments with reporters on Wednesday. “We know that increasing vaccinations will stop the spread of the pandemic, will get the pandemic under control, will return people to normal life,” Psaki said. “That’s what our objective is, so we want to be specific about what we’re trying to achieve.”