Joe Biden Actively Considering Vaccine Mandate For All Federal Employees As Delta Variant Drives Covid Surge

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Asked on Tuesday if he would require a Covid vaccine for all federal employees, President Joe Biden said, “It’s under consideration right now.”

He went on, “We have a pandemic because of the unvaccinated, and they’re sowing enormous confusion.”

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“On thing we know for sure,” said the president. “If those other 100 million people got vaccinated, we’d be in a very different world.”

Biden’s words came as about 50% of the U.S. population eligible for the shots has been vaccinated. CNN, citing a single source, reported that he would make the announcement about federal employees Thursday. For those federal employees who choose not to get vaccinated, there will be frequent testing. In broad strokes, the program is similar to that announced in California on Monday.

Biden’s revelation also followed hours after the CDC on Tuesday recommended that even Americans who are vaccinated against Covid-19 wear masks indoors in many circumstances.

The agency said that vaccinated people who live in high-transmission areas should wear masks in indoor public spaces to help prevent the more transmissive Delta variant from continuing its surge. It was a reversal of guidance issued just two weeks ago by the entity.

There are 4 million federal employees, including civilian workers, the military, and members of the U.S. Postal Service, according to the Washington Post. That makes the U.S. government the country’s largest employer. It was unclear whether any vaccine requirement would also apply to members of the military.

New Covid cases in the U.S. surged above 89,000 on Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. Driven by the Delta variant, that count is the second-highest tally in the past 90 days. The national test positivity rate rose to 5.71% on Tuesday.

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