(Washington) Joe Biden will unveil a comprehensive plan on Thursday to step up the U.S. response to the Delta-fueled COVID-19 pandemic, including making federal employees mandatory.
Posted on Sep 9, 2021 at 11:05 am
Cyril JULIEN Agence France-Presse
The U.S. president will have to sign an executive order requiring officials to be vaccinated with no way to escape the syringe through regular testing, the Washington Post said, citing a source familiar with the matter.
Millions of contractors employed by federal agencies would also be affected, according to the Wall Street Journal.
This “strategy”, divided into six parts, aims to resume vaccination and “reduce hospital admissions” by “introducing more obligations to be examined and” […] Reminders to make sure people are better protected from the virus, “White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told CNN on Thursday.
It has been several months since the massive vaccination campaign launched by Mr Biden after his inauguration in January stalled, with some Americans hesitating or refusing to vaccinate.
But the federal government’s ability to act is limited in the face of powerful states.
The White House has already imposed vaccinations on the military and nursing home staff that receive federal subsidies.
So far, she had introduced a kind of health certificate for federal employees who had the choice between vaccinations or regular tests as well as various restrictive measures.
A nationwide recall for COVID-19 vaccines is also due to begin on September 20.
Economy and schools
Joe Biden’s speech is related to the resurgence of the epidemic since the beginning of summer due to the Delta variant, but also to tensions surrounding the measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The United States, where 53.3% of the population is fully vaccinated according to health officials, is the country with the highest number of deaths from the new coronavirus worldwide, with nearly 653,000 deaths.
As part of this “strategy”, the White House also wants to protect the economy, which is still suffering from the epidemic, and to keep schools open, according to the press.
The return to school in early September fueled concern and disagreement. Parents, but also some Republican politicians, vehemently reject any compulsory vaccination – approved from 12 years of age – or the wearing of a mask, especially in the southern states.
In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis’ decision to ban school districts from introducing masking requirements in schools is the subject of bitter litigation.
Mr Biden should finally call for a world summit to be held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on September 22nd to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and resume vaccination in emerging countries.