President Joe Biden, in brief remarks at the White House campus, praised corporations and local governments for instituting vaccine requirements, but he still called the number of those going without the Covid-19 shots “unacceptably high.”
“We are down to 66 million people, still an unacceptably high number, of unvaccinated people, from almost 100 million in July,” Biden said, speaking from the South Court Auditorium.
“Now is not the time to let up. We have a lot more to do. We are in a very critical period as we work to turn the corner on Covid 19,” he said.
Biden said that the Department of Labor would soon issue a rule that would require companies with 100 or more employees to institute vaccine requirements. The companies would have to have employees either attest to being vaccinated to submit to weekly testing. The White House previously announced the proposed policy, but it had yet to be drawn up as a regulation.
“Every day, we see businesses instituting vaccination requirements, and the mounting data shows that they work,” Biden said, saying that they have boosted vaccination rates to over 90’s of the workforce.
“Let’s be clear — vaccination requirements should not be another issue that divides us. That’s why we continue to battle the misinformation that is out there.”
He cited the case of Southwest Airlines, which earlier this week pushed back against claiims that vaccine mandates contributed to flight disruptions. Biden has previously cited The Walt Disney Co. and Netflix for vaccine requirements, and has made of point of citing Fox News’ policy. Last week, however, he identified the Fox policy as requiring vaccines for all their employees. The Fox Corp. policy, however, is that employees report their status to the company or, if unvaccinated, submit to daily testing.
Biden said that the Food and Drug Administration is reviewing data on Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters. If approved, it will mean that all three vaccines will be available for boosters.
He also said that the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control would determine in the next few weeks whether to authorize vaccines for children 5-11. “We are ready,” Biden said.
Biden also touted progress in combatting the Delta variant, as cases and hospitalizations fall following a summer resurgence.
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