WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — The White House says the president is taking steps to protect more people, as the administration says unvaccinated Americans are affecting everyone.
“My message to unvaccinated Americans is this: what more is there to wait for?” President Joe Biden said.
Biden is toughening his approach to controlling the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have the tools to combat the virus, if we can come together as a country to use those tools,” the president said.
The president is setting up a six-pronged plan to reduce the spread of the more transmissible delta variant.
“This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” the president said.
Under the plan, businesses with more than 100 employees must mandate vaccines or regular testing. Workers in healthcare and education that receive federal funds must be vaccinated, as well as all federal employees and contractors.
He said it will impact about 80 million Americans.
“This is not about freedom or personal choice. It’s about protecting yourself and those around you,” Biden said.
But some lawmakers say requiring vaccines is the wrong approach.
“I don’t believe the government ought to be in the mandate business,” Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) said. “What they should be doing is giving good information, and that’s not true just at the federal level, at the state and the local level, let’s give people good information.”
This plan would also increase the production of COVID-19 tests and masks, improve care for those who get COVID-19 and call on states to require vaccines for all school employees.