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President Biden Orders Covid Vaccines for Federal Employees and Contractors, Health Workers, Head Start Staff; Vaccines or Tests for Workers at Large Private Firms

To protect lives, the economy, and national security from the resurgent coronavirus, President Joe Biden yesterday announced multiple measures to vaccinate more Americans:

  1. All federal employees must get vaccinated for covid-19 within 75 days.
  2. All federal contractors and subcontractors must require employees to get vaccinated for covid-19 and follow other guidance of the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force to be published within two weeks and implemented by October 8.
  3. All workers in firms with 100 employees or more must get vaccinated for covid-19 or submit to covid testing at least once a week. Their employers must provide paid time off for employees to get those shots and, if necessary, to recover from vaccine side-effects.
  4. All workers in hospitals, home health care facilities, and other medical facilities that receive Medicare or Medicaid funding must get vaccinated for covid-19.  President Biden made the same rule for nursing home workers three weeks ago.
  5. All Head Start teachers must get vaccinated for covid-19.

President Biden announced numerous other actions to fight the pandemic that certain recalcitrants have chosen to prolong—invoking the Defense Production Act to make more covid tests; working with Walmart, Amazon, Kroger’s, and other retailers to sell at-home rapid covid test kits at cost for three months; expanding free testing at 10,000 pharmacies; spending $2 billion to support free testing at community health centers, food banks, and schools; doubling TSA fines on travelers who refuse to wear masks; quadrupling the amount small businesses can borrow from the Covid-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan program from $500,000 to $2 million; doubling the number of military health teams assisting with covid treatment at U.S. hospitals; making available 50% more free monoclonal antibody treatments—but naturally, vaccines provoke the loudest response from conservatives who’ve chosen to make pandemic response a political football. Governor Kristi Noem, not eager to fight coronavirus but happy to fight anyone else who fights it, swiftly ran to her video bunker to tell Fox News she’ll fight the President’s vaccine requirements in court.

But let’s stop right there. For all of our Governor’s knee-jerk screaming about Freedom™ and governmental overreach, President Biden has shown a lot of restraint. President Biden tried it Noem’s way. In the face of a deadly pandemic, President Biden let Noem’s experiment run for eight months. He trusted the American people to do the right thing without any vaccine mandate. The President and the Governor were right about the majority of Americans: we got in line, rolled up our sleeves, and got our shots (not to mention masking and keeping our distance), bringing a quick reduction of the number of Americans coronavirus was putting in the hospital and the grave each day.

New daily covid hospitalizations and deaths, New York Times, retrieved 2021.09.10.
New daily covid hospitalizations and deaths, New York Times, retrieved 2021.09.10.

But too many Americans didn’t get vaccinated. Too many Americans followed Governor Noem’s example of turning public health into a political shouting match, turning resistance to science and a refusal to look out for one’s neighbor into a badge of honor. Due to that resistance and irresponsibility, we are seeing infections, hospitalizations, and deaths increase. We are seeing hospitals have to ration care. We are seeing the economy slow back down. We’ve seen Noem’s experiment in letting nature and human nature take their course do real harm.

When Muslim terrorists killed 2,977 people on September 11, 2001, we locked down air travel, barricaded buildings, and suspended all sorts of civil liberties, not to mention waging war that cost $8 trillion. As of right now, coronavirus has killed 656,447 Americans. That’s over 220 times the 9/11 death toll, and more 9/11s are coming. We can stop those covid 9/11s far more easily and with far less collateral damage than we can stop radical Islamic terrorism. We can all get a free, safe, and effective shot, save thousands of lives and jobs, and not kill a single person in the process.

But Kristi Noem wants to make a federal case out of requiring vaccines to stop a deadly pandemic.

The President didn’t want to require vaccines, but, Governor Noem, and your followers and your successful reawakening of the pandemic demand that he take action to reverse this harm. President Biden is behaving responsibly and within his authority as the Commander in Chief to protect our nation’s public health and economic security. Workers, roll up your sleeves and get those shots.

Related Reading: President Biden is asking everyone who isn’t subject to the new requirements to join the rest of us patriots and get their shots:

And my message to unvaccinated Americans is this: What more is there to wait for?  What more do you need to see?  We’ve made vaccinations free, safe, and convenient.

The vaccine has FDA approval.  Over 200 million Americans have gotten at least one shot.

We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin.  And your refusal has cost all of us.  So, please, do the right thing.  But just don’t take it from me; listen to the voices of unvaccinated Americans who are lying in hospital beds, taking their final breaths, saying, “If only I had gotten vaccinated.”  “If only.”

It’s a tragedy.  Please don’t let it become yours [President Joe Biden, remarks from the White House, 2021.09.09].

31 Comments

  1. Guy 2021-09-10

    I was against the political hyperventilating on 9/11 and I’m against the political hyperventilating over this. Fear is a great tactic ALWAYS used by the wrong people.

  2. Guy 2021-09-10

    I do agree with the President Biden when he made the right decision to end our involvement in Afghanistan. That war had to stop, so, I commend President Biden on his decision for ending the Afghanistan War that Bush got us in to. Now, as for the federal mandates on the vaccine…I don’t necessarily agree with those decisions.

  3. Neal 2021-09-10

    The march toward civil war continues apace…

  4. kurtz 2021-09-10

    In 2018 the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe passed resolutions condemning what they say are abuses of the General Mining Law of 1872 passed to pay Civil War debt leading to the Custer Expedition’s discovery of gold in the Black Hills and Republican former South Dakota State Senator Neal Tapio is saying he believes the people living in Oyate communities are victims of “incest and molestation” that lead to federal dependence, despair and high suicide rates. But now for him civil war is the final solution. That’s the true mark of the beast.

  5. Guy 2021-09-10

    I hope President Biden does not get derailed by the subject of COVID Vaccines for too long. The Congress needs to refocus its bipartisan efforts on priority number one: REBUILDING OUR INFRASTRUCTURE. President Biden needs to refocus his efforts on getting the Infrastructure bill passed.

  6. Neal 2021-09-10

    Larry, I say this only because I don’t want to be associated with views that are not my own: I am not Neal Tapio.

  7. O 2021-09-10

    Win-Win for Gov. Noem. She still gets to prove her MAGA credibility by railing against the mandate — maybe even have her AG file a (futile) lawsuit against it while the responsible governing is done for her. The adults in the room get public health under control.

  8. O 2021-09-10

    Neal, explain to me the thinking of moving toward another Civil War. Is it that the MAGA minority so SO outraged by democracy that it cannot accept the results (unless they win)? It seems to me that the conservative rhetoric about “real America” has it backwards: Real America accepts democratic institutions; traitorous secessionists do not. The GOP has already rigged governance with the Electoral College and gerrymandering at the state level. How badly does your ilk have to tilt the table in your favor before you accept any level of majority rule? How far do you think traitorous secessionists terrorists can go before the nation HAS to respond to them in that light?

    If you are looking for a place to place your ire, look to YOUR Supreme Court and their decision not to overturn Roe — the one issue the last three appointees were sent to the court to do. Instead, they keep Roe to keep conservatives up in arms; overturning Roe would be political subsided for Conservatives as Liberals then become engaged. You are a pawn. Your anger being played to the powerful’s gain because you never stop to evaluate the REAL circumstances you find yourselves in.

    No rational person speaks of threatening Civil War.

  9. Mark Anderson 2021-09-10

    Oh Neal, civil war over getting a shot, pretty good. I needed a laugh today, I’ve already tiled a third of the bedroom maybe I’d better make sure it’s bulletproof if I decide to use it on the wall. Its Spanish so you can’t be sure.

  10. jerry 2021-09-10

    You can make bet on the fact that Neal will not be in the front lines of a civil war. Neal is a REMF who talks civil war but wants to be home for lunch to watch Fox and Friends. That Civil War thingy was tried once before.

  11. John Dale 2021-09-10

    The haste with which civil liberties are being cast aside is disturbing.

  12. jerry 2021-09-10

    The hill republicans want to die on “Covid-19 has now killed more Americans in the last 18 months than all the wars of the 20th century combined.

    Are Republicans really going to argue that getting vaccinated is an unreasonable burden? That seems like a losing message.”

    REMF Neal makes the point of yes, this is the hill. Good luck with that. Ask Robert E. Lee who won the turning point battle at Gettysburg, PA and the war as a whole, when he signed off at Appomattox Court House.

  13. kurtz 2021-09-10

    6. No foetus in the United States has any civil rights until the third trimester. Republicans preach civil rights for human zygotes but deny the protections of the First, Fourth and Ninth Amendments to people who enjoy cannabis.

  14. O 2021-09-10

    John, where were you “patriots” when the Patriot Act was passed?

    You confuse individual liberty with civil liberty (in fact you even confuse individual liberty with privilege). Civil liberty includes doing what is necessary to protect the populace when we look at the context of a civil society. Civil liberty is not selfish anarchy. The big five are: religious freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom to assemble, and freedom to petition the government. How are those being denied with public health regulation?

    What is disturbing is your and your MAGA crowd’s wanton misrepresentation of liberty in the context of civil society.

  15. O 2021-09-10

    Civil War (overthrowing a tyrannical government) is also often the Conservative reasoning for the Second Amendment. Conservatives have been planting the seeds of revolution/Civil War (Bugaloo) for too long. They have warehoused the gunpowder (literally) and now are throwing matches.

  16. jerry 2021-09-10

    NOem says “See you in court” to President Biden, Joe says “Have at it”. Gotta love it man. Now, who will our little dummy governor get to file the suit, Ravnsborg? I’m thinking he may slow walk this thing on something that has already been decided in 1905 by the black robes.

  17. O 2021-09-10

    Jerry, decided by different Supreemes. Who knows where this Federalist Society who’s who will come down on any long-standing precedent? We already know how pro-business they were BEFORE being shored up with the Trump trio.

  18. jerry 2021-09-10

    Even with the “shadow docket” this will not make it past the death cult governors grinding teeth. The di is cast. As Joe says “Have at it” Of course, grifters gotta grift so this bunch will fundraise from other dummy’s like John Dale to fill their coffers.

  19. Porter Lansing 2021-09-10

    Neal Tapio.

    I have phraseology software that compares written patterns in people’s social media posts to previous public posts, and you have more than enough for a highly accurate comparison.

    With 98% accuracy, I can assert that you are in fact Neal Tapio.

  20. jerry 2021-09-10

    Porter, you nailed him and now he’s squirming like the REMF worm he has always been.

  21. O 2021-09-10

    Porter, given the way MAGA cut-and-past talking points, I would think that software would say they are ALL the same person. (wink)

  22. bearcreekbat 2021-09-10

    O, that 2nd Amendment theory is laughable on at least two points.

    Apparently it is based on the idea that the founding fathers wanted to encourage people to use guns to kill them if they thought the founders were acting tyrannical, yet it seems doubtful that the founding fathers were that suicidal.

    And the idea that without a 2nd Amendment potential revolutionary Jim-Bob would tell his cousin Luke that even though “that dang gobment is gettin’ mighty tea-rannical but there ain’t no law that sez we can keep our guns and shoot the rascals” so “nevermind.” Jim-Bob and Luke overlooked the detail that there was no English 2nd Amendment or similar law that permitted the colonists to take up arms against the British, yet somehow the lack of official 2nd Amendment type authorization to kill Brits didn’t seem to slow the rebellous colonists down.

  23. mike from iowa 2021-09-10

    https://www.rawstory.com/boebert-son/

    In a video reviewed by Salon and apparently recorded on July 25, the 8-year-old son of Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., can be seen singing, dancing and playing with cigarette lighters — while left alone in a room a few feet away from a high-capacity rifle. This would appear to violate a new Colorado state law, under which gun owners are required to store their deadly weapons in a gun safe, with a trigger or cable lock, whenever the owner is aware, or should reasonably be aware, that a “juvenile or a resident who is ineligible to possess a firearm can gain access to the firearm.”

    As a newly-elected member of Congress in February, Boebert was widely criticized after appearing at a House Natural Resources Committee meeting via Zoom before a backdrop of a bookshelf bearing several high-capacity weapons.

    In response to the outcry, the far-right lawmaker fired back on Twitter by suggesting that the weapons were loaded, posting, “Who says this is storage? These are ready for use.” Additional photos of the firearms in question suggest that two of the rifles were loaded with 30-round magazines and a third with an even larger magazine. Firearm magazines that hold more than 15 rounds of ammunition at any one time, such as those Boebert appears to possess, have been banned in Colorado since 2013.

  24. Mark Anderson 2021-09-10

    Well Mike, she is a nutcase. If you worked her restaurant you have to carry. I must imagine it’s to get better tips. Really all you can do is laugh at the lady, talk about a fetish. Look at her photos, Freud would go penisneid on this one.

  25. Mark Anderson 2021-09-10

    Yes Mr. Dale the rate at which Biden is throwing out your right to put others in the hospital is disturbing. It’s much too slow.

  26. cibvet 2021-09-10

    I hear many employers are crying that some employees will quit instead of getting a shot. So what is the point. There is a workforce south of here that will out work anyone they have hired at the moment. Biden just needs to step up the green card process and let the quitters fend for themselves on john dale’s SNAP bennies without vitamins.

  27. Mark Anderson 2021-09-10

    The question is did all those people refuse their polio shots in grade school? What’s the big deal Republicans? Grow up and get back to normal. Gosh we are see you are angry, whooo, so am I.

  28. Lottie 2021-09-10

    Didn’t KN get her Covid shot earlier i read?….i think she just likes to sue to draw attention. Seems Shes more interested in getting fireworks at Mt. Rushmore than saving the lives of people, Republican or not.

  29. grudznick 2021-09-10

    She got it in the arse, Ms. Lottie. Righter than right of the middle.

  30. Oldtimer Don 2021-09-11

    If I recall my civics class, I thought the idea of a functioning democratic republic was to enable the views of all to be heard and the will of the majority to prevail.
    It seems to be that we are in Orwell’s world where up is down , black is white, good is bad, etc. The vocal minority is screaming that we are losing our freedoms because they will be forced to get a shot (as G. Washington did with his troops). In the Orwellian society being pushed by the screaming salivating wing nuts of today would never had elected him. Can any mentally competent person really believe that the shots we have all taken at various stages of our life were intended to harm us?
    I have always believed that others freedom to refuse protection stops when action that threatens my life or livelihood (kind of basic freedoms). I have been too casual about letting the screaming minority have their tantrum. As a member of the silent majority, I am like that guy who said-I am am mad as hell and I am not going to take it any more. Time for common sense Americans to regain control of our country or lose it to the screaming wing nuts led by the likes of some of the members of SD legislature and Noem. Time to get active and get these pieces of fecal matter flushed back to the sewage system that spawned them. Get out to vote and get involved at all levels, especially the local and country–particularly the school boards. Takes a little time and effort. If you don’t participate, then be prepared to live in a state or a country that might not be what you want.

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