“When the pace of vaccinations in the U.S. first began to slow, President Joe Biden backed incentives like million-dollar cash lotteries if that’s what it took to get shots in arms. But as new coronavirus infections soar, he’s testing a tougher approach.In just the past two weeks, Biden has forced millions of federal workers to attest to their vaccination status or face onerous new requirements. He’s met with business leaders at the White House to press them to do the same. …the administration has taken steps toward mandating shots for people traveling into the U.S. from overseas.
Vaccine mandates are “the right lever at the right time,” said Ben Wakana, the deputy director of strategic communications and engagement for the White House COVID-19 response, noting the public’s increasing confidence in the vaccines and adding that it marks a new phase in the government’s campaign to encourage Americans to get shots.
For now, Biden has required most federal workers to attest to their vaccination status under potential criminal penalties, with those who have not received a dose required to maintain social distancing, test weekly for the virus and face other potential restrictions on their work.
“Through vaccination requirements, employers have the power to help end the pandemic,” White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients said Thursday, naming companies, universities and local governments that have implemented them.
…more severe measures — such as mandating vaccines for interstate travel or changing how the federal government reimburses treatment for those who are unvaccinated and become ill with COVID-19 — have been discussed, the administration worried that they would be too polarizing at this time. An administration official said the interstate travel vaccination requirement was not under consideration at the moment.That’s not to say they won’t be implemented in the future, as public opinion continues to shift toward requiring vaccinations as a means to restore normalcy.”
Read the full article at ABC News.