Federal workers, large employers with more than 100 employees, and healthcare staff were all included in massive effort imposed by the Biden Administration on Thursday. The plan would include upwards of 100 million Americans and be the most significant step by the federal government to contain the surge of COVID-19 and its Delta Variant.
“We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us,” Biden said on Thursday during an address. He was addressing the Americans who refuse to receive the vaccine despite evidence of their safety and full FDA approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
There are around 80 million people in America who have not received the vaccine, and in Biden’s words, are fueling the spread of the Delta Variant.
“While America is in much better shape than it was seven months ago when I took office, I need to tell you a second fact: We’re in a tough stretch and it could last for awhile,” Biden continued.
He directed the Labor Department to require all businesses with 100 or more employees to mandate vaccination or weekly COVID-19 testing. If an employer does not comply – they could face thousands of dollars in fines per employee who is unvaccinated.
Specifically, officials said that $14,000 fines per employee could apply if unvaccinated workers are allowed to remain employed.
“Each employer will decide exactly what they want to do, but what we’re saying through the Department of Labor rule making process is a minimum of testing once a week or full vaccination,” a senior administration official said.
Moving forward federal employees will also not have a weekly testing option – and will be mandated to get the vaccine or lose their jobs. He called on governors across the U.S. to mandate vaccination of teaching and support staff at schools.
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