WASHINGTON (AP) – Hoping to set a model for America’s employers, President Joe Biden will announce Thursday that millions of federal workers will have to prove they have received the COVID-19 vaccine or undergo regular diagnostic tests for COVID-19. coronavirus, strict social distancing measures, use of masks and travel restrictions.
A person familiar with the president’s plans, speaking on condition of anonymity to confirm details that have not yet been publicly announced, noted that the new guidelines do not require vaccination to be mandatory for federal employees and that those who They decide not to inoculate they are not at risk of being fired.
The new policy is a recognition by the Biden government that, as the nation’s largest employer, it must do more to boost sluggish vaccination rates at a time when coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are on the rise, largely driven by measured by the spread of the delta variant, which is more contagious.
Biden has squarely blamed those who have not been vaccinated for the virus’ resurgence.
“The pandemic we have now is a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” said the president during a visit Wednesday to a truck plant in Pennsylvania, where he urged those who are not inoculated to “please, please, please , please “go to inject yourself. The day before, Biden commented that “if those other 100 million people were vaccinated, we would be in a very different world.”
The government continued to review details on Wednesday of the planned guidelines, and there were still several doubts about their implementation and magnitude. It was not immediately clear if the president would issue similar requirements for the military and how federal contractors would be affected. The government will announce the measures now in hopes of giving agencies enough time to come up with their own guidelines and plans to implement before workers fully return to the offices.
The announcement is expected to be part of a broader statement Thursday that Biden promised would outline “the next steps in our efforts to get more Americans vaccinated.”
The source commented that the conversation about the new vaccination measures had been brewing for some time, and that he intends to provide an example for private companies to follow as they prepare for workers to return to offices this fall.
It is the most recent policy change by the government in a week of new efforts to mitigate the coronavirus. The White House is dealing with a spike in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations nationwide driven by the delta variant and breakthrough infections among vaccinated Americans.
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