“In a statement released by the White House, the administration said the new rules were issued because of the Delta COVID variant, and because unvaccinated people present a problem to themselves, their families and co-workers.
“Every federal government employee will be asked to attest to their vaccination status. Anyone who does not attest or is not vaccinated will be required to mask no matter where they work; test one or two times a week to see if they have a — they have acquired COVID, socially distance and generally will not be allowed to travel for work,” Biden said.
Biden directed his administration to apply similar standards to all federal contractors. “If you want to do business with the federal government, get your workers vaccinated,” he said.
Biden urged other state and local governments and private employers to enforce a similar vaccination requirement for their workplace. He said the U.S. Department of Justice Department (DOJ) has “made it clear” it is legal to do so.
According to The New York Times, the federal government employs more than 4 million Americans, all of whom will need to attest to being fully vaccinated in order to avoid wearing a mask on the job, regardless of where in the country they work, and comply with screening tests once or twice a week.
The total number of employees is close to 10 million when contract workers and grant workers are included.
Biden also directed the U.S. Department of Defense to study how and when to add the COVID vaccine to the list of required vaccinations for all members of the military.
In one early sign the policy may not go as smoothly as planned, the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) said it opposes the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate as a condition for employment, arguing it isn’t the role of the federal government to mandate vaccines or other testing measures.
“Maintaining the health and safety of our members is of paramount importance,” the APWU said in a statement issued Wednesday. “While the APWU leadership continues to encourage postal workers to voluntarily get vaccinated, it is not the role of the federal government to mandate vaccinations for the employees we represent.”
Read the full article at The Defender.