Story at a glance
- As the delta variant surges, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky initially said a federal vaccine mandate is under consideration.
- She later wrote on Twitter that the Biden administration will not issue such an order.
- This comes as many companies and agencies are requiring vaccinations among select employees.
With national attention swarming around the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) following its implementation of mask mandates for indoor public spaces, agency director Rochelle Walensky clarified comments she made on Fox News.
Speaking to Bret Baier, Walensky discussed the possibility of a federal vaccine mandate as more public and private organizations begin to require them due to the spread of the highly contagious delta variant.
When asked about vaccines in the country and if they will be ordered by President Biden, Walensky commented, "That’s something that I think the administration is looking into."
She couldn’t offer more detail, aside from her broad support of more vaccinations across the country and its age demographics.
Later on Twitter, Walensky added to her televised comments, confirming that there won’t be a federal order to get vaccinated implemented anytime soon.
"To clarify: There will be no nationwide mandate. I was referring to mandates by private institutions and portions of the federal government," she wrote on Twitter. "There will be no federal mandate."
This follows the slew of organizations, from tech giants like Google and Facebook, to entertainment companies Disney and Netflix, and even the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, who have implemented some form of mandatory vaccinations for on-site or health care workers.
Given the stalled vaccination rates nationwide and the surge of infections fueled by the delta variant, many expected Biden to implement a countrywide vaccine mandate — not unlike the recent order passed in France for all health care workers to get a vaccine.
Walensky said on Fox that she empathized with those who are wary of getting vaccinated.
"I completely understand the pushback," she said, also noting, however, other vaccines are mandated for certain employees, most namely the influenza vaccine. Shots preventing polio and pertussis, or whooping cough, are also federally regulated.
Per CDC data, more than 164 million people have been fully vaccinated, representing almost half of the country’s population.