WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation’s millions of federal workers will be required to verify they’ve been vaccinated against the coronavirus or else face mandatory masking, weekly testing, distancing and other new rules, the Biden administration announced Thursday.
The newly strict guidelines are aimed at boosting sluggish vaccination rates among the 4 million Americans who draw federal paychecks and to set an example for private employers around the country.
“It’s a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” President Joe Biden said in a White House address. Then he repeated it with emotion in his voice. “People are dying who don’t have to die.”
The administration is encouraging businesses to follow its lead on incentivizing vaccinations by imposing burdens on the unvaccinated.
Rather than mandating that federal workers receive vaccines, the plan will make life more difficult for those who are unvaccinated to encourage them to comply.