by Zero hedge
*BIDEN SAYS NEARLY 80M AMERICANS ARE STILL NOT VACCINATED
*BIDEN SAYS WE ARE IN A TOUGH STRETCH, COULD LAST FOR A WHILE
*BIDEN: TSA TO DOUBLE FINES ON TRAVELERS WHO REFUSE TO MASK
Highlights and reactions:
- Biden to require ‘vast majority’ of federal workers and contractors to get vaccinated or test weekly
- Biden expected to ask Labor Department for for rule on mandatory vaccinations
- ‘Some’ exemptions for disability, religion
- Psaki refuses to answer ‘my body, my choice’ question over vaccinations
Update (1452ET): President Biden will speak at 5pm ET, where he is expected to announce what’s already been leaked – that most federal workers and contractors will be required to get vaccinated after a 75-day ‘ramp-up’ period. If workers decline to receive shots in that time frame, they will be subject to termination.
“We would like to be a model for what we think other business and organizations should do around the country,” said White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
Further, Biden is expected to announce that the Department of Labor will compel employers with over 100 workers to mandate vaccines, or weekly testing.
Employers who don’t abide by the new policy will face “substantial fines up to nearly $14,000 per violation,” according to a senior Biden official (via PBS). What’s more, Biden will require health care workers at hospitals which take Medicare and Medicaid to be vaccinated – impacting over 17 million workers.
The Labor Department in the coming weeks plans to issue an emergency temporary standard implementing the new requirement, which will cover 80 million private-sector workers, officials said. Businesses that don’t comply can face fines of up to $14,000 per violation, they said.
The employers will also have to give workers paid time off to get vaccinated or to recover from any side effects of getting vaccinated. –WSJ