Businesses, governments weigh vaccine mandates

Coronavirus Vaccine

(NewsNation Now) — The Justice Department said this week that employers requiring vaccination is legal, and now more workers could be faced with vaccine-or-else decisions.

Some companies are imposing “soft mandates,” which will offer people a choice between getting vaccinated or being subjected to weekly testing.

Daily COVID-19 cases in the U.S. could quadruple next month by one estimate as vaccinations hit a wall.

President Biden is now considering a vaccine mandate or ongoing testing for federal workers. He’s expected to give remarks on that Thursday.

Wednesday, the president went maskless on a trip to Pennsylvania, where he got hammered with COVID-19 questions  

“The press keeps wanting me to talk about COVID-19,” he said. “The pandemic we have now is a pandemic of the unvaccinated.” 

But, questions remain. If the president imposes a vaccine mandate, it’s unclear which federal workers it would encompass. He has also not said if members of the military would need to get it.

Monday, the Department of Veterans Affairs became the first federal agency to announce it’s requiring frontline doctors and nurses to get vaccinated.

Tuesday, Los Angeles announced it will require city employees to get vaccinated or be tested regularly.

“Quite frankly, I think it’s safe to say we’re getting tired of protecting people who don’t want to protect themselves or get vaccinated,” L.A. City Council President Nury Martinez said.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo made the same mandate for state employees. “I think we need dramatic action to get control of this situation,” he said. 

Mark Geragos, a California lawyer, said on NewsNation Prime religious exemptions could be the only type of legal challenge to a vaccine mandate, but even that is not guaranteed to work.

In the private sector, Google and Facebook both said only those who are vaccinated can come back to their offices in person.

Some business owners have offered incentives as an alternative to mandates, saying it’s good business to keep their workforce safe and healthy.

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