The US has over 92,000 new cases, President Biden launches more 'weapons' against COVID-19

On July 29, US President Joe Biden announced a number of new measures the US administration will take to promote more Americans to get the COVID-19 vaccine and reduce the rate at which the disease spreads.

Among the measures, is one that requires federal employees to prove they have been vaccinated, or else they will have to implement strict disease prevention measures.

US President Joe Biden. Photo: Getty Images
US President Joe Biden. Photo: Getty Images

According to CNN, the new anti-COVID-19 measures come amid a rapid increase in the number of deaths and hospitalizations in the US. Most of them are in people who have not been vaccinated.

"This is the tragedy of America," Biden said at the White House. Everyone is dying, and will die, but they shouldn't have died. If you go out without getting vaccinated, read the news. You'll see stories of unvaccinated patients in the hospital, when they're on their deathbeds from COVID-19, they ask doctors if they can get the vaccine now. The doctor had to say it was too late."

In his toughest approach to urging Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19, President Biden bluntly said: "If you haven't been vaccinated, you're causing problems for yourself, your family, and your colleagues." Mr. Biden said every federal employee and on-site contractor would have to demonstrate immunization status. Employees who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 will be required to wear a mask at work regardless of location, distance from others, weekly or biweekly screening tests, and travel restrictions.

However, US officials say the request to federal employees is not an order and that most federal employees who do not get vaccinated will not lose their jobs because of it.

Still, Biden's decision still marks a move from encouraging Americans to voluntarily vaccinate to placing the responsibility on those who haven't.

According to Politico, this is the most drastic action taken by the White House to date on the issue of vaccination, although it avoids seeing it as an "order". The executive order requiring 2 million federal employees to demonstrate vaccination status will give agencies and departments the basis to require certain employees to produce proof of vaccination.

The order is a powerful motivator for unvaccinated people, but it doesn't contradict what the US administration has said before: it won't issue orders.

The vaccination requirement is the latest measure taken by US officials amid an outbreak of the Delta variant as businesses and schools prepare to reopen. Mr. Biden has been questioned about doing not enough to contain the disease's resurgence and increase vaccination rates.

The White House and several government agencies have issued notices requiring masks to be worn in enclosed spaces. "We're moving in a direction where everything needs to be rethought," said a health official.

However, the new White House requirement could be applied unevenly across federal agencies. For example, some departments such as Health and Human Services or Homeland Security are considering more stringent requirements, at least for staff who often come into contact with patients or civilians.

President Biden has also announced he will order the Department of Defense to review how and when to include a COVID-19 vaccine on the armed forces' immunization list. "I think this is especially important because soldiers serving in many parts of the world have low vaccine rates and epidemics," he said.

The US Army Medical Corps prepares a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine in Miami. Photo: AP
The US Army Medical Corps prepares a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine in Miami. Photo: AP

All civilian and military personnel will be required to prove their immunization status under new White House rules, the Defense Department said. The ministry also considers putting the COVID-19 vaccine on the list of mandatory vaccinations for military personnel.

Regarding the possibility of the United States requiring mandatory vaccination, the Department of Justice determined that federal law does not prohibit private companies and public agencies from requesting a COVID-19 vaccine, even though the vaccine has only been licensed for use. in case of emergency. Biden's aides say the president doesn't have the authority to require every American to be immunized, but the measure announced to federal agencies could be a powerful model for employers to consider. Ask staff to vaccinate.

This issue has been controversial before. Several organizations representing federal workers have expressed concerns about requiring employees to be vaccinated, such as those representing law enforcement, tax, and border control personnel. . On the contrary, some organizations such as the International Federation of Technical and Professional Engineers are supportive.

The goal of the "new weapon" against COVID-19 that Mr. Biden just announced is to hold the unvaccinated people accountable, thereby forcing them to have no choice but to get vaccinated. This approach is being tested in Europe. French President Emmanuel Macron has asked people to show proof of vaccinations or test negative in public places. Some states in the US such as New York have announced that government employees must prove they have been vaccinated or will have to be tested weekly.

In his speech, Mr. Biden said he would like to see companies, states and schools move in the direction of requiring COVID-19 vaccinations.

The development of COVID-19 in the US is worrying when on July 29, the country had the highest number of new cases in the world with over 92,000 cases due to the strong raging Delta variant but slow vaccination rate. The latest figures show that 49.4% of the US population is fully immunized. Nearly 390,000 people are vaccinated every day, lower than the millions per day earlier this year.

Google Tech News

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