President Biden traveled to Chicago on Thursday to encourage large companies and other organizations to impose vaccine requirements for their workers while a federal agency hammers out the details of the president’s vaccine mandate for private employers.
The president delivered his remarks after touring a construction site run by Clayco Construction, which announced it would implement a system of vaccinations or testing for all of their employees.
Mr. Biden said that encouraging Americans to get vaccinated had helped, but the only way for the United States to emerge from the pandemic would be for companies and other organizations to require the shots.
“Even after all of these efforts, we still have more than a quarter of the people in the United States who are eligible for vaccinations but didn’t get the shot,” Mr. Biden said. “And we know there is no other way to beat the pandemic than to get the vast majority of Americans vaccinated.”
“That’s why I’ve had to move toward requirements,” he added, noting that moving toward requirements had not been his first instinct.
A new report showed that “vaccination requirements result in more people getting vaccinated,” he continued, and that as more organizations had implemented them their vaccination rates had risen dramatically.
Last month, Mr. Biden that he would use his presidential powers to require two-thirds of American workers be vaccinated against the coronavirus. As part of those mandates he asked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to develop rules for companies with more than 100 employees to require coronavirus vaccination or weekly testing, which would impact more than 80 million workers in the United States.
On Thursday, Mr. Biden said that the rule would be implemented in short order, but officials familiar with the process said was likely to take several more weeks. Defining those rules in a way that passes legal muster could take weeks, and attorneys general in 24 states have