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Biden Announces 6-Step COVID Plan

The president wants to make vaccines compulsory for millions of Americans.

By:  |  September 10, 2021  |    765 Words
GettyImages-1339350158 Joe Biden

(Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

On Thursday, September 9, President Joe Biden announced a plan to deal with the spread of COVID-19. He blamed the spread of COVID in America on people who haven’t been vaccinated. The key part of his six-point plan is to make Americans get vaccinated against the virus – no matter whether they want to or not. “These pandemic politics are making people sick,” the president said, accusing anyone who refuses the shot – no matter the reason – of blocking the health and wellbeing of everyone else.

So, what exactly is Biden’s plan – and what reactions have there been so far?

Biden’s 6-Point Plan

Nearly 80 million Americans have not yet had the vaccine, according to Biden. The president had hoped to have around three-quarters of Americans inoculated by July 4, but still only around half of the population has volunteered for the shot.

“The time for waiting is over,” President Biden said. “This is not about freedom or personal choice. It’s about protecting yourself and those around you … My job as president is to protect all Americans.”

Biden announced that he would try to force vaccines for around 80 million Americans, including people who:

  • Work for a business with 100 or more employees (if they don’t get the vaccine, they must have a COVID test at least once per week).
  • Federal workers and people who are contracted to work with the government.
  • Health care workers at government-supported facilities.
  • Staff at certain schools.

(Photo by Liu Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images)

If these employees choose not to get the vaccine, they would lose their jobs.

As well as the vaccine mandates, Biden said the federal government would be working to:

  • Get more booster shots available.
  • Grow the economy and expand COVID loan programs.
  • Increase testing for the virus.
  • Enforce mask mandates on federal land and when people are traveling.
  • Send more federal medical staff around the country.
  • Increase certain medicines.

President Biden threatened governors who don’t support his COVID plans. “If they’ll not help, if these governors won’t help us beat the pandemic, I’ll use my power as president to get them out of the way,” he said.

A Good Plan or Government Overreach?

Biden’s severe plan has had both supporters and critics; reactions from businesses and labor unions have been mixed.

Dr. Paul Offit, the Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said that Biden’s proposal was an important step and that the president “put his finger right on what the problem is right now in this country.”

“To be clear: the vaccine is the best tool we have to combat the pandemic but heavy-handed mandates are the wrong approach,” Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said on Twitter.

Representative Lauren Boebert, a Republican from Colorado, called the use of such forceful rules a failure of leadership. She wrote:

“All 9 million federal employees should consult with their doctor and make a personal, informed decision about taking the vaccine. Instead, [Biden] says take it or else … You don’t lead by coercion. Biden has failed as a leader in every way.”

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said that Biden’s plan was government “overreach”:

“This is exactly the kind of big government overreach we have tried so hard to prevent in Arizona — now the Biden-Harris administration is hammering down on private businesses and individual freedoms in an unprecedented and dangerous way. This will never stand up in court.

This dictatorial approach is wrong, un-American and will do far more harm than good. How many workers will be displaced? How many kids kept out of classrooms? How many businesses fined? The vaccine is and should be a choice. We must and will push back.”

Is It Legal?

One of the big questions about the new rules is whether they are legal. Representative Thomas Massie of West Virginia called the decision “absolutely unconstitutional,” as did Representative Robert Aderholt of Alabama.

President Biden’s plan is sure to be challenged in the courts – some politicians are already getting ready to bring lawsuits to stop the rules.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem said that she was preparing to challenge the orders. She warned, “My legal team is standing by ready to file our lawsuit the minute @joebiden files his unconstitutional rule. This gross example of federal intrusion will not stand.”

Are these new rules legal or illegal? It may be the courts who decide – but whatever the answer, it will affect the lives of millions of Americans.

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