President Joe Biden is expected to deliver a short speech on Thursday regarding COVID-19 vaccinations. Reports do not suggest the President will require all federal employees to receive the vaccine, but unvaccinated employees will undergo increased COVID-19 testing.
"That is under consideration right now, but if you’re not vaccinated, you’re not nearly as smart as I thought you were," Biden said when asked if federal employees would be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Biden's plan of action is similar to that implemented by Mayor Bill de Blasio in New York. In the Big Apple, city employees must be vaccinated by mid-September or undergo weekly testing at work.
"This is about our recovery. This is about what we need to do to bring back New York City. This is about keeping people safe. This is about making sure our families get through COVID. This is about bringing back jobs. You name it," de Blasio said during a press briefing on Monday.
Adding on, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have put forth new guidance regarding vaccinated and unvaccinated residents. Most notably, the CDC is encouraging all U.S. residents to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status.
"This new science is worrisome and unfortunately warrants an update to our recommendations," CDC Director Rochelle Wolensky said.
"This is not a decision that we or CDC has made lightly."
Los Angeles County and Congress members have already complied the CDC by enforcing these guidelines. Moving forward, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has indicated that she may reintroduce mask guidelines as well.
“We’re looking at those options. Our team is studying this and we’ve been in communication this morning. Those CDC guidelines just came out yesterday," Northam said when asked if he would reintroduce a COVID-19 mask mandate.
Vaccination requirements, mask mandates and other protocols are being put in place as the nation experiences a spike in COVID-19 cases. Within the last month, 48 states have experienced at least a 10% increase in the number of COVID-19 cases. To curb these increases, health officials are calling for more people to become vaccinated.
"And it's coming because this pandemic is spiraling out of control yet again. And it's spiraling out of control because we don't have enough people vaccinated."