Biden says he is considering requiring federal employees to be vaccinated.
WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is actively considering requiring all federal workers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, a dramatic shift in approach by President Biden that reflects concern about the spread of the Delta variant.
Mr. Biden said on Tuesday that a vaccine mandate for all federal workers is under consideration, but did not provide details. Administration officials said the idea being debated was similar to a plan announced by New York City, which would require any of the city’s 300,00 employees who refuse to be vaccinated to submit to weekly testing.
Officials said there was no consideration of simply firing employees who refuse to get vaccinated, but that the government could add additional burdens or restrictions on those who do not get the protections in an effort to convince more people to get the shot in the first place.
Around the country, mayors, business leaders, hospital administrators and college presidents are requiring Covid-19 vaccinations, even for those who have refused to voluntarily roll up their sleeves. So far, Mr. Biden has resisted. He has not yet required all federal workers to be vaccinated. He has not ordered members of the military to get shots. And he has not used his bully pulpit call for a broader use of vaccine mandates.
But the president’s stance may be shifting quickly.
Inside the West Wing, his top public health experts are furiously debating the right path forward, according to administration officials, as the Delta variant surges in places where there are high numbers of unvaccinated Americans, posing a special threat to children, older people, cancer patients and others with weakened immune systems.
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