United States of America’s President Joe Biden has announced a series of measures to boost vaccination rates against Covid-19 in the United States, including requiring federal employees to get inoculated and mandating that the employers ensure their workers are vaccinated or tested weekly for the virus.
In his speech on Thursday, Joe Biden voiced dismay that some Americans were refusing to take the vaccine amid a jump in cases and deaths from the virus largely driven by unvaccinated people.
“What makes it incredibly more frustrating is we have the tools to combat COVID-19, and a distinct minority of Americans supported by a distinct minority of elected officials are keeping us from turning the corner,” he said. He went further to condemn what he called “pandemic politics”, saying that the new requirements aim to reduce the number of unvaccinated people in the US.
He said about 80 million eligible people, out of a population of almost 330 million have yet to have a single vaccine shot. “I’m announcing that the Department of Labour is developing an emergency rule to require all employers with 100 or more employees that together employ over 80 million workers to ensure their workforces are fully vaccinated or show a negative test at least once a week,” Biden said.
However, the Republicans reject measures, Republican legislators were quick to condemn Biden’s announcement. Congressman, Thomas Massie, an outspoken opponent of vaccine mandates, called the measures “absolutely unconstitutional”.