The details of an aggressive new push by the White House on COVID are emerging, with new rules affecting federal employees, larger businesses, and health care workers.
- Federal workers: Biden will sign an executive order requiring all of the estimated 2.1 million federal employees to get their shots, reports CNN. The rule also applies to the millions of contractors who work with the government. The only exceptions will be for those with disabilities or who decline for religious reasons.
- Health workers: The White House also will require that all staff at health facilities that receive federal funding be vaccinated, reports Politico. That would include hospitals that receive Medicare or Medicaid funding. In all, the White House estimates this rule will affect 50,000 facilities.
- Larger businesses: All businesses with more than 100 employees will have to require vaccinations or weekly tests of their workers, reports the Washington Post. This policy would affect an estimated 80 million workers, or two-thirds of the nation's workforce.
- Big change: No longer will federal employees be able to skip the shot by agreeing to get tested regularly. Over the summer, the White House required vaccinations or testing. That substitute is no longer an option, at least for federal employees, notes the Wall Street Journal.
- A deadline: Federal workers will have about 75 days to get vaccinated. If they don't, disciplinary procedures get rolling that could result in the employee being fired.
- A model: "The expectation is if you want to work in the federal government or want to be a contractor, you need to be vaccinated," said press secretary Jen Psaki. “We would like to be a model to what we think other businesses and organizations should do around the country."
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