Last week President Biden announced a six-pronged strategy to combat the newly surging pandemic — including a federal rule that all businesses with 100 or more employees must ensure their workers are vaccinated for COVID-19, or submit to weekly testing for the virus.
The decision will be enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), meaning it is effectively out of employers’ hands. The new rule will impact around 80 million workers.
The reaction to the mandate has been met with criticism from Republicans and confusion from some business leaders, but several health officials are on board with the mandate.
Dr. Zeke Emanuel, a former member of President Biden’s Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board, spoke with NPR’s Michel Martin about why he sees President Biden’s new call for vaccine mandates as necessary, and how it might play out in the coming months.
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This episode was produced by Lee Hale. It was edited by Patrick Jarenwattananon, Jonaki Mehta and Brianna Scott. Our executive producer is Cara Tallo.