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Biden Touts Vaccine Mandates For Large Businesses

“There is no other way to beat the pandemic ... "

KHN Morning Briefing – In remarks during a Chicago trip Thursday, President Joe Biden pressed more private-sector businesses to institute covid shot requirements: “They’re lifesaving, they’re game-changing for our country.” Earlier in the day, the White House released a report on the role mandates have played on driving up vaccination rates.

ABC News: Biden Touts Vaccine Mandates For Large Businesses: ‘These Requirements Work’

President Joe Biden renewed his call for private employers to require their workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19, saying “we are going to beat this pandemic” if more Americans get their shots.

Biden’s remarks came just hours after the White House released a new report outlining the importance of requirements in driving up vaccination rates and helping Americans return to work. The 26-page report says more than 185 million Americans are now fully vaccinated and that “the unprecedented pace of the president’s vaccination campaign saved over 100,000 lives and prevented 450,000 hospitalizations.” (Gomez, 10/7)

AP: Biden, A Convert To Vaccine Mandates, Champions Compliance

Biden had ruled out such requirements before taking office in January, but they now are a tactic he feels forced into using by a stubborn slice of the public that has refused to be inoculated and has jeopardized the lives of others and the nation’s economic recovery.

“There is no other way to beat the pandemic than to get the vast majority of the American people vaccinated,” Biden said in suburban Chicago at an event promoting the mandates. “While I didn’t race to do it right away, that’s why I’ve had to move toward requirements.” (Miller and Madhani, 10/7)

Roll Call: Biden Pushes Back On Opposition To Vaccine Mandates

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“I’ve tried everything in my power to get people vaccinated,” Biden said, naming lotteries, time off from work and providing the vaccine for free as incentives. “But even after all these efforts, we still had over a quarter of Americans eligible for vaccinations who didn’t get the shot. And we know there is no other way to end the pandemic than to get the vast majority of Americans vaccinated.

“So while I didn’t race to do it right away, that’s why I’ve had to move toward requirements. . . . That wasn’t my first instinct,” Biden added, an acknowledgement of prior statements that he wouldn’t impose requirements. (Kopp, 10/7)

Politico: Where Biden’s Vaccine Mandate Will Hit And Miss

The Biden administration is preparing to enact vaccine mandates covering workers at large businesses, health care employers, and federal employees and contractors.

The large-business mandate, which affects businesses with at least 100 employees, has the potential to dramatically boost the number of vaccinated Americans in counties where adult vaccination rates are lagging, according to a POLITICO analysis of U.S. Census Bureau and CDC data. Even so, pockets of unvaccinated adults would remain due to business size and because the mandate would not affect adults who aren’t working. (Thomas, Li, Rainey and Gardner, 10/7)

CNBC: As Covid Fears In C-Suite Stay High, Most Big Companies ‘Totally Support’ Biden Vaccine Mandate: CNBC Survey

Companies from CVS Health to Tyson Foods to Walmart have adopted vaccine mandates for workers, a reflection of the fact that many C-suite executives still fear how any further Covid outbreaks could impact business. Chief financial officers view a Covid-19 outbreak as the biggest external risk factor that their businesses face, according to the CNBC Global CFO Council survey for the fourth quarter of 2021. (Thomas, 10/8)

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In related news from the Biden administration —

AP: New FDA Chief Can’t Come Soon Enough For Beleaguered Agency

Straining under a pandemic workload and battered by a string of public controversies, one of the leading agencies in the government’s fight against COVID-19 is finally on the verge of getting a new commissioner.

After nearly nine months of searching, President Joe Biden says he’s close to naming his choice to lead the Food and Drug Administration, which oversees vaccines, drugs and tests. Former FDA officials and other experts say the decision cannot come soon enough for the agency’s beleaguered regulators. (Perrone, 10/8)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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