President Joe Biden’s new six-pronged approach to dealing with COVID-19 hopes to protect Americans while introducing new regulations to help the economy and keep schools open amid the raging Delta variant.
The six-pronged plan aims to immunize the unvaccinated, protect the vaccinated, keep schools open, increase testing and mask requirements, protect the economy, and improve COVID-19 care, the all thanks to a scientific approach.
When it comes to vaccinating more Americans, the federal government has employed the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, to require vaccinations or regular testing for nearly 80 million Americans, according to the Biden administration’s official COVID-19 action plan. , as reported on the White House website.
“OSHA is developing a rule that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or will require all workers who are not vaccinated to produce at least a negative test result. once a week before coming to work, ”the website reads.
The White House website also mentions paid time off requirements for all federal workers and hospital workers participating in Medicare and Medicaid to get vaccinated.
Vaccinating more workers is critical to ending the pandemic, Biden said in a speech to the nation on September 9.
“This is an unvaccinated pandemic,” Biden said. “This is because despite America having an unprecedented and successful vaccination program, despite the fact that for almost five months free vaccines have been available in 80,000 different places, we still have almost 80 million Americans who failed to get vaccinated. “
On Wednesday, September 22, the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, approved booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine for people 65 years of age and older and those at high risk of illness or exposure. These photos should be available by the end of the week, according to ABC News.
The Biden administration also plans to keep schools and students safe through increased vaccinations.
“To help keep students, families and their communities safe, the President’s plan includes requirements for teachers and staff in Head Start and Early Head Start programs, teachers and staff in children’s programs and Department of Defense youth and teachers and staff at Schools operated by the Bureau of Indian Education get vaccinated, ”says the COVID-19 action plan.
In his remarks on September 9, Biden also called on state governments to help promote immunization for educators.
“I call on all governors to demand immunizations for all teachers and staff,” Biden said. “Some have already done it, but we need more to step up. Vaccination requirements in schools are not new. They work.”
The Biden administration is also hoping to expand production of affordable COVID-19 rapid tests to promote faster and more regular testing, according to the action plan.
“President Biden’s plan will mobilize industry due to the urgent and compelling need to ramp up production of the COVID-19 rapid test,” the action plan says.
On the protection of the economy, the president’s plan will introduce more support for small businesses and make improvements to the current payment protection program loan cancellation process.
President’s plan will help more than 150,000 small businesses by bolstering COVID[-19] Economic disaster loan [or] EIDL program, which provides long-term, low-cost loans, ”says the action plan. “The improvements will allow more businesses to gain greater and more flexible support with the $ 150 billion in loanable funds still available in the program.” “
For the last part of its new approach, the action plan says the administration will double the number of DOD teams working with hospitals.
“These clinicians will be available for a mission through FEMA’s response in all surge states,” the plan says.
These new regulations have received negative reactions from Republicans in Texas, including Gov. Greg Abbott, who believes the federal government is going beyond its limits.
“The federal government must stop trying to run private businesses,” Abbott spokesperson Renae Eze said in a statement to the Texas Tribune.
Republican states are likely to challenge the federal government, and some cases could even go to the Supreme Court, said Max Crook, Ph.D., professor of political science at Texas A&M.
“It’s very likely that it will make it all the way to the Supreme Court, states will definitely sue… because that’s the nature of our society right now,” Crook said.
Biden’s full remarks, as well as an official overview of the administration’s COVID-19 action plan can be found at whitehouse.gov.