President Joe Biden said Thursday it’s no longer about personal freedoms when it comes to the vaccine, and that getting the vaccine is a “not personal choice.”
“The time for waiting is over,” Biden said during his speech announcing the federal government’s plans to combat the spread of the Delta variant. He also argued that individuals who were hesitant to get the vaccine because it lacked the Food and Drug Administration’s approval, should now receive their doses.
“This is not about freedom or personal choice, it’s about protecting yourself and those around you,” the president said. (RELATED: FLASHBACK: Biden Said ‘I Wouldn’t Demand [Vaccines] To Be Mandatory)
“My job as president is to protect all Americans, so tonight, I’m announcing that the Department of Labor is developing an emergency rule to require all employers with 100 or more employees, that together employ over 80 million workers, to ensure their workforces are fully vaccinated or to show a negative test once a week.”
Violating the new rule could cost thousands of dollars per employee. Under another rule being developed, employers will also be required to give employees paid time off to receive the vaccine, as well as for workers who are negatively affected by the vaccine afterwards.
The administration has previously mandated vaccines for federal government workers, giving them the option to get the vaccine or submit to weekly testing.
The president had called on private companies to “step up” and mandate the vaccine for employees in August, stopping short of doing it himself.