Requirement for all federal employees to get vaccine ‘under consideration’: Biden

Written by on July 27, 2021

President Joe Biden said Tuesday afternoon that a mandate to require all federal employees to be vaccinated is now “under consideration.”

He said this one day after the Department of Veterans Affairs moved to require all health workers get a COVID-19 vaccine and shortly after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cited new science on the transmissibility of the delta variant and reversed its mask guidanceAs he wrapped a visit to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, ABC News also asked the president about Tuesday’s new guidance from the CDC, recommending masks for vaccinated Americans in public, and whether it would cause confusion, but Biden continued to focus on those who remain unvaccinated.

“We have a pandemic because the unvaccinated — and they’re sowing enormous confusion,” he said. “The more we learned — the more we learn about this virus and the delta variation, the more we have to be worried, concerned.”

“And the only one thing we know for sure, if those other 100 million people got vaccinated we’d be in a very different world. So get vaccinated. If you aren’t, you’re not nearly as smart as I thought you were,” Biden continued.

Further pressing that point, the CDC late Tuesday issued a health alert to doctors on the need to increase vaccinations “to prevent surges in new infections” that could “overwhelm healthcare capacity” and increase death tollFollowing his remarks, Biden released a statement saying the CDC decision is “another step on our journey to defeating the virus” and that he’d have more to say on Thursday when he will “lay out the next steps” to get more Americans vaccinated.

MORE: COVID-19 live updates: CDC reverses guidance on masks for vaccinated people
Regarding the CDC recommendation for students, Biden said it’s “inconvenient,” but gives them a chance to learn “with their classmates with the best available protection.”

He also acknowledged concerns that as cases rise and mask guidance is reversed that the U.S. could be heading back to restrictions and closures but said in the statement, “We are not going back to that.”

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