Biden to Mandate Vaccine for Federal Employees

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the administration’s continued drawdown efforts in Afghanistan in a speech from the East Room at the White House in Washington D.C., July 8, 2021. (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)

President Biden is set to announce that federal employees will be required to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus during an address to the nation on Thursday night.

The move comes as cases of the Delta variant continue surge across the country, prompting municipalities to reimpose mask mandates.

The executive order by which the vaccine mandate will be installed and enforced will also apply to federal contractors. Previously, administration policy allowed employees to submit to frequent testing among other strict protocols if they chose not to be inoculated against the virus.

Biden made addressing the pandemic a focus of his campaign for president, promising to “shut down the virus, not the country” during a debate with President Donald Trump last October. In January, a Pew Research poll found that 78 percent of Americans called handling the outbreak of the virus a “top priority.” That was second only to “strengthening the economy.”

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