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Commerce secretary says putting off vaccine mandate until after holidays would be a ‘mistake’

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Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on Sunday stood by the timing of federal work vaccine mandates, asserting that waiting any longer to put them into effect would be a “mistake.”

CBS “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan noted that many businesses have not necessarily spoken out against the vaccine mandates themselves but on their timing, claiming that the vaccine mandates would contribute to labor shortages as the U.S. heads into the holiday seasons.

Brennan noted that Jeff Zients, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator, has said there is flexibility in terms of when to administer the mandates and asked Raimondo if pushing it back until after Christmas was possible.

“No, I think that would be a big mistake. People want to work in a workplace where they feel safe,” Raimondo said. “You know, United Airlines, that was among the first to do the mandate. Their number of folks applying for jobs is through the roof. The best thing we can do to get people back to work is to make sure everybody’s vaccinated.”

“This year, we’re on path to have the strongest GDP [gross domestic product] growth in decades. We had a blip in the third quarter. Why? Delta variant,” Raimondo said. “The quicker everyone gets vaccinated, the better our economy will be back on track, the quicker everybody gets back to work.”

In September, President Biden issued an executive order that requires all companies with more than 100 employees, private or federal, to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for their workers. A deadline of Dec. 8 was set for this order.

However, Zients said last week, “We’re creating flexibility within the system. … There is not a cliff here.”

Tags Biden Vaccine mandate CBS Face the Nation Gina Raimondo Gina Raimondo Joe Biden

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