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Joe Biden Afghanistan speech

President Joe Biden speaks at a press conference at the White House in Washington, D.C. on August 16, 2021. (Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images)

Biden to Issue Covid-19 Vaccine Mandate for Federal Workers

The president's forthcoming executive order requiring the vast majority of federal workers to be vaccinated will not allow for opting out through regular testing.

Kenny Stancil

During a Thursday night speech laying out his administration's plans to contain the coronavirus pandemic that continues to overwhelm the nation's hospitals, U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to announce that the vast majority of federal workers must be vaccinated against Covid-19.

According to the New York Times, "The mandate will apply to employees of the executive branch, including the White House and all federal agencies and members of the armed services—a workforce that numbers more than four million—but not to those who work for Congress or the federal court system."

Unlike the existing vaccine rules for federal workers that Biden implemented earlier this summer, the president's forthcoming executive order will not allow employees to opt out through regular testing, CNN reported, citing an unnamed source familiar with the plans.

Biden is also expected to sign another executive order that would extend the same standard to contractors who work with the federal government.

The Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Indian Health Service, and the National Institute of Health already announced mandatory vaccination requirements for their 2.5 million workers.

The White House has praised employers in the public and private sectors for requiring workers to be inoculated, CNN noted, and wants the federal government to "act as a model" for companies throughout the country.

Biden is expected to encourage businesses to impose stronger vaccine rules on employees and customers during his speech on Thursday.

The president is also reportedly set to announce an expansion of free testing, which public health officials have said is increasingly crucial as some adults return to workplaces and now that millions of kids, many of whom are vaccine-ineligible, are back in classrooms.

Children, who now account for approximately 27% of new Covid-19 cases, have been made more susceptible to infection in states where GOP governors have banned mask-wearing requirements, another topic Biden is expected to address on Thursday.

Biden will also reportedly discuss booster shots, which have been a source of confusion due to uncertainty about when third doses will be authorized as well as criticism given the vast inequities in global vaccine access.

Covid-19 has killed roughly 653,000 people in the U.S., while the global death toll has climbed to nearly 4.6 million.


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'We WILL Fight Back': Outrage, Resolve as Protests Erupt Against SCOTUS Abortion Ruling

Demonstrators took to the streets Friday to defiantly denounce the Supreme Court's right-wing supermajority after it rescinded a constitutional right for the first time in U.S. history.

Brett Wilkins ·


80+ US Prosecutors Vow Not to Be Part of Criminalizing Abortion Care

"Criminalizing and prosecuting individuals who seek or provide abortion care makes a mockery of justice," says a joint statement signed by 84 elected attorneys. "Prosecutors should not be part of that."

Kenny Stancil ·


Progressives Rebuke Dem Leadership as Clyburn Dismisses Death of Roe as 'Anticlimactic'

"The gap between the Democratic leadership, and younger progressives on the question of 'How Bad Is It?' is just enormous."

Julia Conley ·


In 10 Key US Senate Races, Here's How Top Candidates Responded to Roe Ruling

While Republicans unanimously welcomed the Supreme Court's rollback of half a century of reproductive rights, one Democrat said "it's just wrong that my granddaughter will have fewer freedoms than my grandmother did."

Brett Wilkins ·


Sanders Says End Filibuster to Combat 'Outrageous' Supreme Court Assault on Abortion Rights

"If Republicans can end the filibuster to install right-wing judges to overturn Roe v. Wade, Democrats can and must end the filibuster, codify Roe v. Wade, and make abortion legal and safe," said the Vermont senator.

Jake Johnson ·

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