President Joe Biden, in a speech that lasted nearly 30 minutes, took direct aim at those who have resisted getting the Covid-19 vaccine.
He announced executive orders that include sweeping vaccine mandates for two-thirds of America’s workforce, specifically for the federal workforce, federal contractors, and for businesses that employ more than 100 people, who will come under penalties from the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration if they don’t mandate vaccines.
He asked doctors to reach out to their unvaccinated patients and make a personal appeal to them to get the shot.
“My message to unvaccinated Americans is this: What more is there to wait for what more do you need to see. we’ve made vaccinations free, safe, and convenient,” he said.
“We’ve been patient,” Biden said, speaking to those who have refused the vaccine. “But our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us. So please, do the right thing,” he said.
“We’re going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated co-workers,” Biden said.
“If you break the rules, be prepared to pay — and by the way, show some respect!” Biden said, in reference to airline passengers who have refused to mask their faces. He said the federal government will double the fines against those who refuse to mask on airlines.
“The anger you see on television toward flight attendants and others doing their job is wrong, it’s ugly,” he said .
OSHA will issue a regulation requiring vaccines or tests for employers. The enforcement against those companies that do not comply include $14,000 fines for every violation.
Those who are in the medical field will also be covered by the federal mandate, although enforcement will be done through a different agency.
Biden is also using the Defense Production Act to get more test kits into production, and will force retailers to sell the kits at cost for the next three months.
“We’re going to reduce the spread of Covid-19 by increasing the share of the work force that is vaccinated in businesses all across America.”
“We can and we will turn the tide on Covid-19,” he said.
Biden also lashed out at some governors. In reference to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, he said that if the state of Florida withheld funds from school district because they defy his ban on requiring masks, the federal government will step in and make payments directly to those districts.
Biden’s speech was historic in that it revealed an unprecedented takeover by the federal government of state and local authority. It also made it clear that Americans are not in control of their own health decisions.
The entire executive order can be read at this White House link.
Earlier: White House Spokesperson Jen Psaki says that mandates are not the role of the federal government: