Sweeping new vaccine or testing mandates for 100 million Americans

[anvplayer video=”5054992″ station=”998130″]

President Joe Biden has announced sweeping new federal vaccine requirements affecting as many as 100 million Americans in an all-out effort to increase COVID-19 vaccinations and curb the surging delta variant.

The government’s expansive new rules, announced Thursday, mandate that all employers with more than 100 workers require them to be vaccinated or test for the virus weekly, affecting about 80 million Americans.

In announcing the new requirement, Biden said many large employers are already requiring vaccines, "even Fox News."

"This is not about freedom or personal choice. It’s about protecting the people around you," Biden said.

Biden also signed an executive order requiring vaccination for all employees of the executive branch and contractors who do business with the federal government. There is no testing opt-out for the executive branch requirement.

"This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated," Biden said.

"We still have nearly 80 million Americans who have failed to get the shot. To make matters worse, there are elected officials actively undermining the fight against COVID-19," Biden said.

In other steps, Biden announced that major retailers including Walmart and Amazon will sell at-home rapid COVID-19 tests at cost for the next three months. He also said the Transportation Security Administration will double fines on travellers who refuse to wear a mask.

On the question of booster shots, Biden said the decision on who will be able to get them and when they will be available will be left to scientists at the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control.

Details of the new requirements are posted at www.whitehouse.gov/covidplan.