Biden to announce need for vaccine for private sector workers – Deadline

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UPDATE, 2:19 p.m. PT: In a speech outlining the administration’s measures to end the Covid-19 pandemic, President Joe Biden urged entertainment venues and cinemas to adopt vaccine or testing requirements for customers.

“To those of you who run large entertainment venues, from sports arenas to concert halls to movie theater, please demand that people get vaccinated or test negative as a condition of entry, ”Biden said in a White House speech, broadcast on major cable networks and broadcast points.

Some live event companies, like AEG and Live Nation, have already set requirements for concert and festival sponsors. A spokesperson for the National Association of Theater Owners did not comment immediately on Biden’s recommendation.

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In his speech, Biden also described an emergency regulation whereby companies with 100 or more employees mandate weekly vaccines or tests.

Biden acknowledged the vaccinees’ weariness of those who continue to refuse to be vaccinated, telling viewers, “We have been patient, but our patience is running out.”

“It’s not about freedom or personal choice,” he said. “It’s about protecting yourself and those around you.”

He said the pace of vaccinations increased in August as the Delta variant led to an increase in Covid cases, hospitalizations and deaths, a setback in efforts to bring the pandemic under control by the end of the year. summer. As he has done before, Biden called it an “unvaccinated pandemic,” noting that those who get breakthrough cases are much more likely not to face serious illness.

It is estimated that 80 million people still have not received the vaccine, and Biden blamed this reluctance in part on the politicization of the shooting. His tenure for private companies is likely to generate further setback, but this reflects a shift in the administration’s approach towards more punitive measures over incentives to ensure the greatest number of people get vaccinated.

“These pandemic policies are making people sick, causing the death of unvaccinated people,” he said.

Still, a number of large companies have already imposed vaccine requirements, and Biden has named companies such as Disney and Tyson Foods among them. “Even Fox News,” he said.

A now-familiar scene on social media has been of viral videos of passengers arguing – or even beating – flight attendants over federal mask warrants. Biden announced plans to toughen penalties for those who fail to comply, while telling viewers, “And by the way, show respect. The anger you see on TV towards flight attendants and other people doing their jobs is wrong. It’s ugly.”

The president indicated that the pandemic might not be under control anytime soon, as he said, “We are in a difficult time, and this could last for some time.”

PREVIOUSLY: President Joe Biden’s administration is set to release a new rule that will require companies with 100 or more employees to mandate weekly vaccinations or tests.

In a speech on Thursday afternoon, the president will also urge large theaters to require clients to be vaccinated or to show proof of a negative test, although the White House appears to recommend, not regulate, such action to sports arenas, concert halls or any other gathering. places of a large number of people.

“The president’s plan will reduce the number of unvaccinated Americans by using regulatory powers and other actions to dramatically increase the number of Americans covered by immunization requirements – those requirements will become dominant in the workplace,” he said. the White House said in a statement outlining their plans. (see them here). “In addition, the plan will provide paid immunization time off to most workers across the country. “

A senior administration official told several news outlets that the Ministry of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is creating the emergency rule, which is expected to affect around 80 million workers in companies across the country. private sector. Those who do not comply will be subject to fines.

Biden is expected to outline a series of measures to try to boost vaccinations and curb the spread of the virus in a speech Thursday afternoon. He is also preparing to announce a vaccination mandate for all federal workers and contractors.

A number of large companies have already issued vaccine requirements, including The Walt Disney Co. and Walmart. The spread of the Delta variant in mid-summer generated a resurgence of the virus, with an increase in hospitalizations and deaths mainly among the unvaccinated.

Biden also plans to announce requirements for healthcare workers. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services plan to require vaccinations for workers in most health care settings that receive reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid, affecting about 17 million workers.

“This action will create a consistent standard across the country, while giving patients assurance of the immunization status of those providing care,” the White House said.

OSHA also plans to issue a rule that will require large employers – those with 100 or more employees – to give their employees paid time off to get vaccinated and, if necessary, to recover from side effects.

Biden’s call for entertainment venues to make their own demands follows action already taken in some states and among some large live event companies. Two of the bigger ones, AEG and Live Nation, have announced a requirement for performers, crew members and patrons to show proof of vaccination or a negative test at their events and festivals.

The White House also said it was preparing for a Covid recall deployment starting the week of September 20, subject to FDA approval and a recommendation from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Biden will also call on states to adopt vaccine requirements for all school employees, as well as to put in place regular testing regimes for teachers and students. The FDA has yet to approve the vaccine for children under the age of 12.

Meanwhile, the Transportation Security Administration has extended masking requirements on airports, planes, trains and other forms of public transportation until Jan. 18. The Biden administration plans to double fines for those who fail to comply.


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