Biden Pushes Businesses to Require Workers Take Booster Shot, Imposes More Travel Restrictions
Washington D.C. — President Joe Biden is now calling on American businesses to require workers take a COVID-19 booster shot and will soon require more travel restrictions.
In an address on Thursday, the President announced the actions the federal government is taking to combat coronavirus and the emerging Omicron variant this winter.
As part of the Biden Administration’s plan, he is urging Americans to get a booster shot if they are eligible to do so.
“Experts say COVID-19 cases will continue to rise this winter,” Mr. Biden said. “We are expanding our national booster campaign to provide booster shots to all eligible adults. Our docs and scientists believe that people who get a booster shot are more protected than ever from COVID-19. Here’s the deal, more than about 100 million are eligible for boosters, but haven’t gotten the booster shot yet. Folks, if you’re over the age of 18 and you got vaccinated before June 2, six months have gone by, go get your booster shot now.”
Additionally, the President specifically called on private businesses to give workers paid time-off in order to get a booster shot.
“No one should have to choose between a paycheck and getting additional protection from a booster shot,” he said.
Earlier this year, President Biden made similar remarks about vaccination requirements shortly before issuing a host of mandates for employers, federal employees and contractors, military members, and healthcare workers.
His comments today suggest the White House could soon push to include “fully vaccinated” to include booster shots as well.
The President’s vaccination mandates have, so far, taken a shellacking in federal court.
Most notably for trucking stakeholders, last month the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit halted the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s (OSHA) emergency temporary standard (ETS) forcing businesses with 100 employees or more to require employees to be fully vaccinated by January 4, 2022, or ensure all unvaccinated employees wear a facial covering and provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test each week.
In a blistering opinion, the three-judge panel rebuked the Biden Administration for issuing the ETS and warned enactment could lead to “virtually unlimited power to control individual conduct under the guise of a workplace regulation.”
While OSHA responded by stating it would comply with the Court’s order and take no steps to enforce the controversial employer-based vaccination mandate, the White House remains defiant.
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A new statement on Thursday again urged businesses to implement these requirements immediately.
“This is especially important given the Omicron variant,” the White House said. “Already, 60 percent of businesses report they are moving forward with implementing a program to ensure their workers are either vaccinated or tested on a weekly basis.”
Meanwhile, the President is also ramping up testing requirements for all international air travelers.
Beginning next week, all inbound international travelers will be required to test within one day of departure, regardless of nationality or vaccination status.
The Administration will also continue to require masking during international or other public travel – as well as in transportation hubs such as airports or indoor bus terminals – through March 18, 2022.
Cross-border truckers are also facing new vaccination requirements as well.
In October, the Department of Homeland Security said it will begin requiring proof of vaccination for cross-border truckers early next year.