The Biden administration affirmed that they are not looking for a federal vaccine mandate campaign at this time. However, President Joe Biden asks federal workers to get COVID-19 vaccines and urges the private sector to follow suit.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, July 30, White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that “we need to get people vaccinated.” She cited the danger of the Delta variant, which is spreading rapidly and easily from one person to another across the country.
However, she said, “a national vaccine requirement is not under consideration at this time. That’s where we are with that.”
Jean-Pierre told reporters that the administration is “listening to the experts, the CDC guidance and this is what they are telling us.”
A day earlier, President Biden said that “It’s still a question whether the federal government can mandate the whole country,” after a reporter asked, “Why not push for vaccine mandates in states, private companies, schools?”
“I don’t know that yet,” Biden said, adding that the Justice Department had determined that local communities are legally able to require the shot.
On Thursday, Biden announced that he had asked all federal employees and contractors to attest to their vaccination status or otherwise submit to regular COVID-19 tests.
To step up his vaccine push, Biden called on “all states and local governments to use funding they have received, including from the American Rescue Plan, to give $100 to anyone who gets fully vaccinated.”
Nearly 69% of U.S. adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, but the vaccination rates have leveled off. Several Republican lawmakers have disagreed with Biden’s tactic to try and force Americans to get vaccinated, arguing people should continue to have the freedom to decide whether to get the vaccines or not.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) insisted on Friday that, “We should have no vaccine mandates. We should have no mask mandates. We should have no vaccine passports.”