US President Joe Biden met with business executives on Wednesday to discuss vaccinating workers for COVID-19, as the number of unvaccinated infections in the United States has soared.
Biden said Thursday that the Department of Labor plans to implement vaccine requirements for companies that employ at least 100 people. He said the company must require employees to be vaccinated or tested for negative at least once a week.
The President said that approximately 100 million employees will be bound by these requirements.
The new vaccination and testing requirements are part of a wider effort by the Biden administration to curb the spread of the highly infectious delta variant of the coronavirus.This mutation is responsible for the surge in infections, hospitalizations, and deaths in the U.S.
According to data from the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Research Center, although the vaccine is free and widely available, only 55% of Americans have been fully vaccinated.
Biden and business leaders will meet in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House. A White House official said that the executives who will attend the meeting are from companies that have or are developing vaccine requirements.
Although the Business Roundtable and other business groups supported Biden’s vaccination and testing requirements, some Republican lawmakers threatened to sue the Biden administration, believing that Biden exceeded his power.
The White House official said that the meeting is expected to become “a call for more companies across the country to strengthen and take similar measures.”
Some of the information in this report is provided by the Associated Press and Reuters.