Washington, July 29 (EFE). The President of the United States, Joe Biden, announced this Thursday that he will compel all his government workers to prove they are vaccinated if they do not want to undergo regular testing, and they have. It is not excluded that it could impose on the future a mandate to vaccinate at the national level.
Biden’s announcement, which also asked the Pentagon to compel all of the country’s military to be vaccinated, coincides with an alarming increase in COVID-19 cases linked to the progression of the Delta version in the United States, forcing to roll back some reopening measures. .
“We will require all federal government employees to prove their vaccination status,” Biden said during a speech at the White House.
VACUNAS O . TESTS
Those who do not provide this evidence will need to wear a mask to work and undergo COVID-19 tests weekly or even twice a week; The president explained that in addition to maintaining physical distances, he was generally prohibited from participating in official trips.
The measure will apply to more than 4 million federal workers in the United States and the rest of the world, and similar standards will be adopted for all administration contractors, according to the White House.
“If you want to deal with the federal government, vaccinate your workers,” Biden stressed.
The announcement represents an attempt by Biden to take full advantage of his power to advance the vaccination campaign in the United States, which has slowed significantly in the past two months, with only 49% of the population vaccinated with the full schedule.
As president, Biden can impose a unilateral mandate on workers in his administration, but so far, the White House has asserted that he does not have the legal authority to do the same to force all Americans to be vaccinated.
But Biden himself contradicted his advisers on Thursday and left open the possibility of finding a way to enforce that mandate nationally.
“The question is whether the federal government can order that whole country,” the president said in response to a reporter’s question. “I still don’t know.”
Currently, the president noted that states, localities, and businesses have the authority, according to the Department of Justice, to enforce vaccination mandates in their jurisdictions, and said he would “like” to see that happen more and more.
Although the idea of compulsory insemination is quite controversial in a country like the United States, where individual freedom is highly valued, more and more companies are considering the idea.
This week, companies like Google, Facebook and Lyft demanded that all workers who return to their offices be vaccinated, and the White House is confident that the mandate for federal employees announced by Biden will inspire more companies to follow that example.
It’s unclear how many US government employees have actually been vaccinated, but Biden’s announcement drew criticism from some sectors of federal employees, including the Postal Employees Union and the Law Enforcement and Security Officers Association.
However, Biden insisted on the need for such measures, given the expansion of the delta variant, which already accounts for at least 83% of serial cases in the United States and has led to a marked increase in infections and hospitalizations in the past weeks.
“This is an American tragedy. People are dying, and they are not going to die, and they will continue to die,” the president said.
The president also asked the Pentagon to examine “how and when they will add the COVID-19 vaccine to the wanted list” for members of the US armed forces, the White House explained in a statement.
More than 70% of the entire US military has already been fully vaccinated, according to Pentagon data, far higher than the 49% of the entire US population who received the full guidelines.
$100 for a vaccination
In addition, Biden suggested that states, territories and localities offer a $100 bonus to those who are vaccinated, taking advantage of the money contained in a government-approved rescue package.
An initiative, for example, already adopted by New York City on Wednesday, that will give $100 in cash to any resident who goes to the town hall to get their first dose of the vaccine.
“If incentives help us defeat this virus, I think we should use them,” the president said, emphasizing that the kind of programs that states and companies have launched “work.”
The measures were announced two days after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) changed its guidance and recommended those who have been vaccinated to wear a mask indoors and in public places again.
The CDC explained that the change was due to the emergence of “alarming” new studies, which indicate that “in exceptional cases, some people who have been vaccinated and have deltavirus can be contagious.” EFE
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