ABC News: President Joe Biden said Tuesday afternoon that a mandate to require all federal employees to be vaccinated is now “under consideration.”
Sources familiar with the discussion told ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Cecilia Vega that the president is awaiting the outcome of a policy review, but that likely Thursday, he will announce that federal employees will be required to be vaccinated or else they must abide by “stringent COVID-19 protocols like mandatory mask wearing — even in communities not with high or substantial spread — and regular testing.”
With 2.1 million workers, the federal government is the nation’s largest employer and this would be the largest vaccine mandate by a single employer.
“It’s under consideration right now,” Biden said of a vaccine mandate for federal workers Tuesday afternoon. “But if you’re not vaccinated, you’re not nearly as smart as I thought you were.”
BREAKING: Pres. Biden tells ABC’s @sarahkolinovsky that he is considering a mandate for all federal employees to get COVID-19 vaccines.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) July 27, 2021
As he wrapped a visit to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, ABC News also asked the president about Tuesday’s new guidance from the CDC, recommending masks for vaccinated Americans in public, and whether it would cause confusion, but Biden continued to focus on those who remain unvaccinated.
“We have a pandemic because the unvaccinated — and they’re sowing enormous confusion,” he said. “The more we learned — the more we learn about this virus and the delta variation, the more we have to be worried, concerned.”
“And the only one thing we know for sure, if those other 100 million people got vaccinated we’d be in a very different world. So get vaccinated. If you aren’t, you’re not nearly as smart as I thought you were,” Biden continued.
Further pressing that point, the CDC late Tuesday issued a health alert to doctors on the need to increase vaccinations “to prevent surges in new infections” that could “overwhelm healthcare capacity” and increase the death toll.