President Biden’s new vaccine requirements, announced Thursday, have won praise from doctors keen to slow the spread of the coronavirus, warning experts who felt it could be “too little, too late” and condemnation from members of the Republican Party who called the move “unconstitutional.” “
Biden has taken his most expansive measure yet to control the coronavirus pandemic by giving shots to 100 million Americans, including some private sector employees, health care workers, federal contractors and the vast majority of federal workers.
Although epidemiologists have spent months stressing the urgent need to increase vaccination rates as the highly contagious delta variant spreads in the United States, Biden’s plan has been revealed in a highly polarized environment, and even experts are divided over its effectiveness.
Dr. George C. Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, said the measures could be “too little, too late” and cautioned that Americans opposed to vaccination may get too deep into the matter and fear being told what to do. The American Hospital Association was cautious, warning that the moves “may exacerbate the problems of acute workforce shortages that currently exist”.
But Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University, said politics was necessary, likening it to wartime military service.
“So far we’ve relied on an army of volunteers,” Dr. Schaffner said. “But especially with the Delta formula, the enemy has been reinforced, and now the volunteer army is not enough. We need to draft.”
Amazon, which will ship Covid-19 test kits at cost, said it was proud to help with the plan.
“We know that vaccines, along with convenient, widespread testing, serve as powerful tools to help slow the spread of Covid-19 in our communities, keep the US economy open, and protect the American workforce,” said Brian Hausmann, Vice President of the Public. Retailer Policy.
The sweeping measures, announced by the president in a speech at the White House, will affect nearly every aspect of American society. It also reflects Mr. Biden’s deep frustration with the nearly 80 million Americans who qualify for injections but have not been vaccinated.
It is also certain that they will all be the subject of legal challenges; Already, the largest union representing federal workers has raised questions.
“Vaccination is not only the best way for us to end this pandemic, it is the best way for us to protect each other in the workplace,” said Everett Kelly, national president of the American Federation of Government Employees. But he expressed that such changes must be negotiated with the negotiating units. “Workers deserve a voice in their working conditions.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott described the measures as an “assault on private companies” in Statement on Twitter. He said he issued an executive order protecting the right of Texans to choose whether or not to get vaccinated. “Texas is already working to stop this power grab,” he wrote.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey wrote on Twitter: “The Biden-Harris administration is cracking down on private businesses and individual liberties in an unprecedented and dangerous way.” He asked how many workers would be displaced, companies fined, and children kept out of classrooms over mandates, and vowed to respond.
But the president made clear Thursday that he would do what he can to “demand that more Americans be vaccinated to combat those who hinder public health,” referring to Republican governors who have banned attempts to impose masks or order vaccines.
He said, “If these rulers don’t help us beat the pandemic, I will use my power as president to get them out of the way.”