Biden's new weapon against Covid-19: Don't call it a mandate

The White House is readying its most aggressive action to date on Covid vaccinations. But it's trying to avoid one word: mandate.

7/29/2021 3:30:00 AM

The White House is readying its most aggressive action to date on Covid vaccinations. But it's trying to avoid one word: mandate.

President Joe Biden is due to issue a directive Thursday requiring some 2 million federal employees to attest they’ve received the shot or submit to weekly testing.

Biden would need to sign a separate waiver obligating Covid-19 shots for the military, something that two sources familiar say he is unlikely to do. That would leave vaccine guidelines for the armed services up to the Pentagon. Military leaders already require active duty troops to get a range of vaccinations, including an anthrax shot. But Biden would have to cite national security reasons to add the Covid-19 vaccines to that list.

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“The Pentagon position has been that as long as CDC authorization for vaccines is ‘emergency,’ troops cannot be ordered,” a former national security official told POLITICO. “There are legal differences … troops can be ordered to take vaccines, but civil servants cannot. This is also political. Civil servants are older and overwhelmingly liberal-left of center. Troops are young and a high percent are Fox [News] watchers.”

The Defense Department will be reimposing the mask mandate in the Pentagon building, a DOD official said Wednesday night.Civilian federal employees are already required to attest to a range of details, from their finances and potential conflicts of interest to how many hours they worked and travel expenses, depending on their position and department. They typically sign a form confirming that the information is true. Attesting to a Covid-19 vaccination would be similar, in that employees would not need to prove their status unless their agency takes the requirement a step further. headtopics.com

The federal move comes as some states and localities are imposing similar requirements on their workers. Both California and New York City said earlier this week that they would require government employees to be vaccinated or face repeated Covid-19 testing.

On Wednesday, Nevada announced that it would take a similar step. The Biden administration’s plan could give more states the political cover to follow suit, with advocates for tougher vaccination rules speculating it could touch off a wave of new policies.

“I think the political backlash is going to go down,” said Ezekiel Emanuel, a bioethicist who advised the Biden transition on Covid-19 and has advocated for widespread mandates. “I think it’s the kind of thing that can be repeated.”The administration has discussed the new requirement with labor leaders, who raised concerns about a mandate being premature and who feared a backlash among their members. That persuaded Biden’s team to back off an all-employee Covid-19 vaccination policy.

But the administration is planning to couch the measures as part of broader instructions that Biden gave earlier in the year to agencies like the Office of Management and Budget to establish Covid-19 safety protocols for federal employees, officials said. headtopics.com

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And other outside organizations have endorsed the approach. "This is not an easy decision President Biden made, but it’s the right one for our members and for the nation,” the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers said in a statement.

Industry sources told POLITICO that they encouraged the Biden administration during a Friday meeting at the White House to change guidance that states fully vaccinated individuals can refrain from testing programs. The administration continues to view testing as an option largely for people who will not say whether they were immunized.

"A core component ofhaving any kind of real return to work policy the federal government is contemplating is to ensure that there is a robust testing component that applies to all employees," one industry source said.David Lim and Lara Seligman contributed to this report.

Read more: POLITICO »

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If this is the right decision for our nation why are Biden & others allowing immigrants to come into our country & no requirements on masks & vaccinations? Citizens must follow this but not others who will be spreaders. hey, if the president has to carry a big stick, let him. It's time this covid nightmare ends and if it requires 1930's style toughness, let's do it.

Call it 'choice' or 'freedom to choose where you work'. Get the 'freedom vaccine' to open up your possibilities! 🎵 ' it's been here for years!' 🎵

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Masks and vaccine mandate show CDC and Biden taking emergency action amid Covid-19 surgeThe moves reflect a dramatic shift from earlier messaging about the pandemic waning and signal the fight of Biden's presidency is far from over. The fight in our Country for all of us. This is not political- or shouldn’t be. We do not care about Politicians anymore especially those older than 40 years

Tres cosas que Biden puede hacer para frenar el COVID-19, dice epidemiólogo crítico del presidenteTres cosas que Biden puede hacer para frenar el COVID-19, dice epidemiólogo crítico del presidente good luck Pero se acuerda de lo que desayuno está mañana ?

Some people are seeking out a second dose of Covid-19 vaccine after getting J&J shotJason Gallagher, an infectious disease pharmacist in Philadelphia had gotten the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine through a clinical trial in November, but this summer he didn't like the direction Covid-19 cases were taking due to variants. That'll look good on the profit margin chart. Smart move J&J. Imagine getting the vaccine🤡 More fear 😡 post great news

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