WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Joe Biden will be addressing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in a speech scheduled for Thursday, where he is expected to unveil a six-prong approach to combating the virus that reportedly will include new mandates for mask-wearing and vaccines.
As cases of COVID-19 are on the rise in many regions of the United States due to the spread of the more potent Delta variant, the White House has noted to several news organizations that Biden will go over his administration’s plan for helping to curb rising infection rates. Among the aspects of Biden’s plan are vaccine requirements, booster shots, keeping schools open, increasing COVID tests and issuing mask mandates, improving the economy, and improving care for patients infected with COVID.
However, the preview of the Biden Administration’s plans to address COVID-19 – while broad – nonetheless offers scant details on how it will be carried out, or to the extent that mandates will be enforced on the general public. For example, it is unknown exactly who Biden will mandate wearing masks for – whether it be members of government or private citizens – or where it will be required.
In addition, it is currently unknown for whom vaccines will be mandated; at the moment, more employers than governments or municipalities are requiring vaccines. However, Biden is set to sign a stringent executive order on Thursday that will mandate that all federal workers and contractors to be inoculated against COVID-19, with no option to opt-out in favor of regular testing.
Already, the Defense Department, Department of Veterans Affairs, the Indian Health Service and the National Institutes of Health are in the process of instituting mandatory vaccination requirements as well, which will cover a total of approximately 2.5 million employees.
It is hoped that Biden will cover his administration’s plans in detail when he addresses the nation on Thursday at 5 p.m.