(NewsNation Now) — President Biden visited Chicago on Thursday, encouraging employers to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations.
“Today, I’m calling on more employers to act,” Biden said during a speech at a Clayco construction site in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. “My message is: Require your employees to get vaccinated. Vaccinations are going to beat this pandemic.”
Last month, Biden ordered all federal workers and contractors to be vaccinated, and for private employers with 100 or more workers to require staff to be vaccinated by Dec. 8, or get tested for the coronavirus weekly. The president has also asked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to develop an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to enforce his rule. That order would affect more than 80 million American workers.
The president’s aggressive push is running into a wall of resistance from Republican governors, businesses leaders and even some celebrities.
“I believe in vaccines, I’m vaccinated, I just don’t like the government getting involved in forcing my kids to get vaccinated before they go to school.”
That’s what author, actor and radio personality Adam Carolla said during an “On Balance” appearance Thursday. He says pushing Americans to get vaccinated is only going to create more division.
“I think this crazy government overreach that’s been going on for two years now is creating, as a lot of people that are saying, I’m not going to be pushed around by the government anymore. You guys have made a million mandates.”
At first, Biden ruled out such requirements before taking office in January, but they now are a tactic he feels forced into using by a stubborn slice of the public that has refused to be inoculated and has jeopardized the lives of others and the nation’s economic recovery.
Carolla noted that the government has taken a softer approach to many social issues in the past and believes this one should be treated just the same. He also says the approach should be more focused on improving public health, not just enforcing mandates alone.
“I’m in California, they closed down outdoor dining. So here’s the thing, be very judicious when you’re giving out mandates.”
More than 216 million Americans have received at least one vaccine dose, but roughly 67 million remain unvaccinated as the U.S. continues to battle the highly contagious delta variant.
The vaccine has drawn widespread public support. People are hoping to bring an end to a pandemic that has taken the lives of more than 700,000 in the United States, and businesses see vaccinations as a road map toward a revitalized economy.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.
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