Biden, CEOs, biz leaders meet about COVID-19 vaccine mandates

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President Joe Biden was meeting Wednesday with the CEOs of Walt Disney and Columbia Sportswear, and other business executives and leaders to discuss his recently announced vaccine requirement for larger companies.

The White House meeting comes less than a week after Biden announced that the Labor Department is working to require businesses with 100 or more employees to order those workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or show a negative test result at least weekly.

Some 100 million workers would be subject to the requirement, Biden said. The Labor Department is working to issue an emergency rule to implement the mandate.

Biden announced the new mandate and several other steps last Thursday as part of a tougher effort by the administration to curb the surging delta variant of the coronavirus, which is responsible for sharp increase in U.S. infections, hospitalizations and deaths.

Just over half, or 54%, of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, data show.

Announcing the new steps last week, Biden sharply criticized the tens of millions of people who remain unvaccinated, despite the fact that the shots are free of charge and widely available.

“We’ve been patient. But our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us,” Biden said.

The business leaders and CEOs Biden is meeting with at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, part of the White House complex, either have put in place vaccine requirements or are working to implement such rules, the White House said.

Some business groups, including the Business Roundtable, welcomed the president’s announcement, while some Republicans accused Biden of overstepping his authority and have threatened to sue the administration over the vaccine mandate.

Numerous corporations, including Amtrak, Microsoft, United Airlines and Walt Disney issued vaccine mandates for their workforces before Biden’s announcement last week.

Also scheduled to attend Biden’s meeting are representatives from health insurer Kaiser Permanente, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream and Louisiana State University.

Josh Bolten, president and CEO of the Business Roundtable, was also scheduled to attend. The Roundtable represents more than 200 businesses that employ some 20 million people. Last week it issued a statement welcoming Biden’s announcement.

“America’s business leaders know how critical vaccination and testing are in defeating the pandemic,” Bolten said in a statement.

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7 thoughts on “Biden, CEOs, biz leaders meet about COVID-19 vaccine mandates

  1. Yet there’s zero plan from the Biden administration on mandatory weekly COVID-19 testing for vaccinated and unvaccinated people. It’s no wonder our country is failing on COVID-19 when we can’t isolate COVID-positive people from the rest of the population.

  2. Government over-reach. There is zero proof that a CV-19 vaccine is a perfect and 100% guarantee against such a virus or its various strains. A broad brush effect seems to only work to exalt a dictator who believes he is God. If a government body is so concerned about every man, woman, and child on this planet, then illegal drugs, cigarettes, dangerous pesticides, and food preservatives would be eliminated, as well as infectious immigrants would not be allowed free entry.

    1. Not a single vaccine ever made is perfect or a 100% guarantee against a pathogen. That is exactly why as many people as possible need to get vaccinated – to reap the secondary and tertiary benefits of vaccines.

      When a high percentage of a population is vaccinated, the reservoir of viable hosts for a virus shrinks such that it can no longer spread exponentially. That is how herd immunity works. You should really go take some biology classes.

    2. Robert, it is false to suggest that vaccination would provide anything close to herd immunity. In fact, vaccinated people could be the reservoir for mutations that could make the virus deadlier and more transmissible. Natural immunity is the main form of immunity that can help prevent infection/infectivity in the future.

    3. DH. – Yes, look at the failure that was the Smallpox vaccine, the Polio vaccine, Chicken Pox, Hepatitis, Mumps, Meningitis, and Tuberculosis vaccines.

      Oh wait.

    4. Actually government under-reach led to the current crisis. At least a positive approach is being taken for this national health crisis that some apparently feel is insignificant and will just disappear suddenly without a trace.

      What an absolutely ridiculous analogy and comment. Period.

      No vaccine is perfect. Doing nothing is certainly not perfect. And, opioids were dispensed legally — so, only citing illegal drugs seems to be a bit myopic.

      Proof exists that those without a vaccination become more severely ill and die at significantly greater numbers.

      The proposal to have safe working condition is not an overreach. One has options: get a vaccination or be tested or make arrangements with employer to work remotely, away from others whom might infected with a highly transmissible virus which could be deadly for the that individual or those in their orbit because of intransigence, obstinance, and recalcitrance of those who share the sentiment reflected by this comment.

      This government applies to the United States, not the world nor the planet. If individuals collectively cared about each other, simple precautions such as mask wearing would have diminished the dreadful state of Covid in the United States, and certainly the many Indiana hotspots, which continues to worsen due to those who espouse and demand the freedom to be ill and spread it to everyone else.