U.S. President Joe Biden meets Wednesday with corporate executives to discuss COVID-19 vaccinations for workers as infections in the U.S. surge among the unvaccinated.
Biden said Thursday the Labor Department was planning to impose a vaccine requirement on companies that employ at least 100 people. He said the companies must require workers to be fully vaccinated or provide a negative test at least once a week.
About 100 million employees would be subject to the requirements, the president said.
The new vaccination and testing requirements are part of a broader push by the Biden administration to contain the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus. The variant is the cause of a spike in infections, hospitalizations and deaths in the U.S.
Although vaccinations are free and widely available, only 55% of Americans have been fully vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Research Center.
Biden and the business leaders will meet at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House. A White House official said the executives who will attend are with companies that have instituted vaccine requirements or are in the process of doing so.
While the Business Roundtable and some other business groups support Biden’s vaccination and testing requirements, some Republican lawmakers have threatened to sue the Biden administration, arguing Biden has exceeded his authority.
The White House official said the meeting hopefully will serve “as a rallying cry for more businesses across the country to step up and institute similar measures.”
Some information in this report was provided by the Associated Press and Reuters.