President Joseph R. Biden announced that he will be enacting broad mandates requiring most of the U.S. work force to be vaccinated or regularly tested for COVID-19. He is also expanding the number of health care and federal workers and contractors who will be required to be vaccinated or face disciplinary action.

Initially reluctant to enact mandates, Mr. Biden is now waging an aggressive effort that will also put pressure on private businesses, states and schools to enact stricter vaccination and testing policies as the Delta variant continues its spread across the United States.

Mr. Biden is acting through a combination of executive orders and new federal rules. Under his plan, private sector businesses that have 100 or more employees will have to require vaccination, or mandatory weekly testing, for their workers after Mr. Biden instructs the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to draft a rule. Roughly 17 million health care workers employed by hospitals and other institutions that accept Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement will also face strict new vaccination requirements, as will federal workers and contractors.

OSHA, which is part of the Department of Labor, oversees workplace safety, which experts say extends to vaccine mandates. The agency has issued other guidelines for pandemic precautions, such as a rule in June requiring health care employers to provide protective equipment, provide adequate ventilation and ensure social distancing, among other measures.

Read the entire article at The New York Times.

Featured Image: President Joseph R. Biden. Photo: The White House