On Thursday, President Joe Biden announced that all federal employees and contractors have to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Those who refuse to get vaccinated will have to be tested at regular intervals before they can work in-person. He also requested states and local authorities to pay $100 to Americans who are now taking the shot, as the delta variant of the coronavirus continues to surge across the nation.
President Biden said that the way to “put the virus behind” could be achieved by vaccinating a large number of people. He said that he knew that paying people to get vaccinated might sound unfair to those who had already been vaccinated. He added that he believed that if incentives would help, they should be used for the greater good.
There are almost two million civilian workers in the federal government. The mandate has not as yet been declared for those who serve in the military. However, the president has asked the Department of Defense to find out ways and means to control the spread within all the service branches of the military.
Biden said that those federal workers who did not get vaccinated would have to undergo regular testing for the virus and would have to wear masks. They might not be allowed to travel. He added that everyone wanted life to return to normal and getting “fully vaccinated workplaces” quickly and successfully was the path to normalcy.
Many private tech companies, health services and retailers have mandated that their workers need to be vaccinated before they could resume in-person work. Although tech giants have gone back to working virtually from this past week, they had put in the vaccine mandates when their offices had opened for a couple of weeks before the delta variant surge.
Earlier this month at a CNN town hall in Ohio, Biden requested viewers to get vaccinated. He said that that if people were vaccinated they would not be hospitalized, they would not be in an ICU unit and they would not die.
Biden’s claims have gained credence as recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that less than one percent of coronavirus deaths are among those who were fully vaccinated. The CDC data also reports that just a little more than one percent of those who were fully vaccinated were infected by the virus.
Biden also said that the vaccine was developed and authorized under a Republican administration while it was distributed and administered under a Democratic administration. Unfortunately for the nation, more states that are under Republican rule have less numbers of fully vaccinated Americans. There is more vaccine hesitancy in these states, and they have faced larger outbreaks of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths due to the surge of the delta variant of COVID-19.
Image Gage Skidmore