Biden Urges More Employers to Issue Vaccine Mandates Ahead of OSHA Rule

By Nick Ciolino
Nick Ciolino
Nick Ciolino
Nick Ciolino covers the White House.
October 8, 2021 Updated: October 8, 2021

President Joe Biden is asking private businesses to implement COVID-19 vaccine mandates ahead of the rollout of his federal rule requiring many to do so.

The president traveled to Illinois on Thursday to tour a Clayco construction site in Elk Grove Village and to give a speech.

“I’m calling on more employers to act,” Biden said in his address. “My message is to require your employees to get vaccinated.”

The speech also included Biden’s familiar refrain: “This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

Biden continued to claim many heart and cancer patients are unable to get treatment in emergency departments overrun with unvaccinated COVID-19 patients.

About 67 million eligible Americans have not been inoculated with any of the vaccines developed in response to the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.

Biden’s speech comes as his approval rating has taken a dip. Fifty percent now say they approve of Biden, while 49 percent disapprove, according to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

During his visit to Elk Grove Village, the president’s motorcade rolled past a large protest with lots of pro-Trump, anti-Biden signs. One sign said: “Mandates are 4 Greed and power.”

Biden’s executive order, announced Sept. 9, is set to require all workers at private businesses with 100 employees or more to be vaccinated for COVID-19 or show a weekly negative test. It will also require employers with more than 100 employees to provide paid time off for workers to get vaccinated or to recover if they suffer an adverse reaction post-vaccination.

The White House has said there is no clear timeline for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to craft this new rule, which many Republicans have vowed to fight in court. But Biden is making the case for businesses to put mandates in place on their own before the rule is put in place.

“Businesses have more power than ever before to change the arch of this pandemic and save lives and protect and grow our economy,” he said in the speech.

Many large companies have already taken this step, with many increasing their vaccination rate above 90 percent. Biden, along with federal health officials, point to this as evidence that vaccine mandates work. Still, many workers are choosing to be fired rather than receive the vaccine.

United Airlines said last week that it’s set to terminate 593 of its employees who have chosen to not comply with the company’s vaccine mandate. Biden downplayed that number Thursday touting the company’s vaccination rate, which went from 59 percent to 99 percent after United put its mandate in place.

“When you see headlines and reports of mass firings and hundreds of people losing their jobs, look at the bigger story,” said Biden.

When asked why the Biden administration doesn’t require vaccination for all domestic flights, deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that “while no options are off the table, we are focused on the aggressive and urgent action like the ones we’ve emphasized today.”

The average number of daily COVID-19 cases nationwide dropped by 12 percent over the last seven days to just under 98,000, and hospitalizations dropped 14 percent to about 7,400, said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky on Wednesday.

Nick Ciolino
Nick Ciolino covers the White House.