Administration

Biden meeting with business leaders who have mandated vaccines

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President Biden is meeting with business leaders on Wednesday who have required the COVID-19 vaccine for employees, including United Airlines and Kaiser Permanente.

Biden is pushing for all businesses to require the vaccine for workers, and his meeting will highlight companies, including small ones, that have “taken the right step to create safer workplaces,” said White House assistant press secretary Kevin Munoz.

The president, in the virtual meeting with business, higher education and health care leaders, will discuss strategies to get more Americans vaccinated.

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby announced last week that the carrier would require its U.S. employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 this fall. Kaiser Permanente also announced last week that all unvaccinated employees had until Sept. 30 to be fully vaccinated or officially exempted.

Private companies have imposed vaccine mandate for employees following Biden’s directive that all federal employees show they are vaccinated or submit to regular testing for COVID-19.

The president, in laying out the administration’s next efforts to get more Americans vaccinated, said last month he wants to see private companies, local governments and schools move toward vaccine mandates. 

The White House had reached out to the Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers and Business Roundtable before the announcement on the federal worker requirement, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Additionally, the Treasury Department held a call with 900 employers this week about COVID-19 relief package funding and how it can be used to give employees time off work to get vaccinated. 

“We are essentially saying there are different paths you can take, but the path that you cannot take is doing nothing—that’s the one unacceptable position right now,” Ben Wakana, deputy director of strategic communication and engagement for the COVID-19 response team, told the Journal.

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