U.S. President Joe Biden will hold a
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
President Joe Biden said Tuesday his administration was considering whether to vaccinate federal employees against the coronavirus as the highly contagious Delta variant spreads in the United States
“This is being considered,” Biden told reporters when asked if he would impose a vaccine mandate on all government employees.
The president’s remarks came when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed their guidelines on wearing masks indoors.
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Veteran Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough described the new measure as “the best way to protect veterans”.
The White House has announced its campaign to vaccinate the nation against the coronavirus pandemic. But the government has missed its goal of getting 70% of adults in the US to get at least one dose of vaccine by July 4, and vaccination rates have slowed significantly from months.
As the highly contagious Delta variant is on the rise worldwide, the concern of health authorities about so-called breakthrough infections in fully vaccinated people is growing.
However, officials have found that the symptoms of these infections tend to be milder, and the vast majority of people hospitalized or killed by Covid are unvaccinated.
But with a further surge in cases expected in the fall, the CDC is now recommending that fully vaccinated people and children wear masks again in places with high Covid transmission rates, as well as in schools.
After Biden found that cases and deaths had “dropped dramatically”, Biden issued a statement later Tuesday calling on Americans to follow CDC’s new guidelines, calling the change “another step in our path to combating this virus” .
“I hope all Americans living in the areas covered by the CDC guidelines will follow them; I will definitely do it when I travel to these areas, ”said Biden’s statement.
Strengthening vaccinations and wearing masks when needed “will allow us to avoid the kind of locks, closings, school closings and disruptions we faced in 2020,” it said.
“We will not come back to it,” said the president’s statement.