President Joe Biden’s on Thursday mandated federal workers get a COVID-19 vaccine.
The new executive order removes the option for workers and contractors to choose not to get vaccinated.
The White House said in a document that Biden had signed the order.
The text of the order has not yet been released.
The mandate will have “limited exceptions for legally recognized reasons such as disability or religious objections,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington.
Federal workers will have approximately 75 days to become fully vaccinated.
“If a federal worker fails to comply, they will go through the standard [human resources] process, which includes counseling, and face disciplinary action, face progressive disciplinary action. Each agency is going to work with employees to make sure they understand the benefits of vaccination, and how the vaccines are free, easy, and widely accessible. But it will start to be applied once the executive order is signed,” Psaki said.
COVID-19 is the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
Biden previously mandated COVID-19 vaccination, but allowed workers who did not want it to remain unvaccinated. However, those workers, and contractors, were required to wear masks, get tested regularly for the virus, and social distance.
Biden later urged private companies to mandate COVID-19 vaccination and impose “strict requirements” on those that did not.
Several federal agencies have already mandated a COVID-19 vaccine, including the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Pentagon.
Three vaccines are being administered in the United States. Two, from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, are being administered under emergency use authorization. The third, from Pfizer, is technically approved, but doses under the approval have yet to become available.
Everett Kelley, the president of the American Federation of Government Employees, which describes itself as the largest federal employee union, representing 700,000 federal and D.C. government workers nationwide, said in an emailed statement that the union supports members getting a COVID-19 vaccine but that changes like those in the order “should be negotiated with our bargaining units where appropriate” because “workers deserve a voice in their working conditions.”
“Neither of these positions has changed. We expect to bargain over this change prior to implementation, and we urge everyone who is able to get vaccinated as soon as they can do so,” Kelley said.
Psaki spoke several hours before Biden was set to deliver remarks on his administration’s next steps in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
He planned to announce a raft of actions, including requiring staff in federally-run education programs like Head Start to be vaccinated against the CCP virus and sending free, rapid at-home COVID-19 tests to food banks and community health centers.
“Our overarching objective here is to reduce the number of unvaccinated Americans—there [are] of course, 80 million unvaccinated Americans at this point in time, we want to reduce that number—decrease hospitalizations and deaths, and allow our children to go to school safely. And, of course, keep our economy strong. So what you’ll hear him lay out is a series of additional requirements,” Psaki said. “Some of them have been out there—additional ways he’s going to expand access to testing, which is a key way that we can ensure we reduce the spread of COVID, and ways that we’re going to work with states and communities to implement these proposals.”
From The Epoch Times