Sumary of Biden ramps up new Covid-19 vaccine rules:
- : US President Joe Biden on Thursday (Friday in Manila) announced a major escalation in the national Covid immunization campaign with strict new vaccination rules affecting tens of millions of workers as he hardened his tone toward Americans who refuse the shots.
- The most expansive of the actions involves requiring private companies with more than 100 workers to ensure they are vaccinated or tested weekly.
- } The plan also mandates vaccinations for all federal employees and contractors.
- Only exemptions will be allowed for religious reasons or for people with disabilities – a strict approach sure to put Biden on a collision course with right-wing media and other powerful groups arguing that mandates amount to an attack on individual freedoms.
- Biden’s competency scrutinizedThe administration’s early success in rolling out vaccinations and promoting mask-wearing gave Biden a lift after taking office in January.
- On July 4, Biden even held a big White House barbecue to celebrate US Independence Day and freedom from lockdowns.
- Seeing his entire agenda on topics like the economy or climate change overshadowed by the pandemic, Biden badly needs to change its course or demonstrate he is in charge.
- However, state governments, notably in Republican Texas and Florida, have actively resisted imposing mask mandates while swaths of their populations refuse to get vaccinated – even as cases around them soar.