Fauci tells Biden to go further: CDC chief says Biden’s sweeping COVID-19 vaccine mandate is a ‘MODERATE’ decision and he would not give Americans the option of testing instead
- Biden on Thursday ordered companies with more than 100 employees to mandate vaccines or require negative tests for COVID
- Republicans were angered, calling Biden’s ruling an infringement of liberties
- His chief medical advisor, Anthony Fauci, on Friday addressed Biden’s new rule
- Fauci said that Biden was being ‘moderate’ by bringing in the mandate
- He said Biden was offering ‘an off-ramp’ for the vaccine hesitant
- Fauci said he may have been happy to go further, with vaccination obligatory
- He said he would support ‘vaccinate or not’ – without a testing alternative
Dr Anthony Fauci has said he would have supported more extreme measures to force Americans to be vaccinated against COVID-19 – describing President Joe Biden’s plan as ‘moderate’.
Biden on Thursday announced that all companies employing more than 100 people must insist on either proof of vaccination or regular COVID tests.
His policy was greeted with anger by many Republicans, who described it as heavy-handed and an infringement on their personal freedoms.
But Fauci, Biden’s chief medical advisor, said on Friday that he would have backed more intense options.
‘The president is being somewhat moderate in his demand, if you want to call it that,’ Fauci told CNN.
Dr Anthony Fauci on Friday told CNN that he thought Biden’s vaccine mandate was ‘moderate’, and he would have supported saying ‘vaccinate or not’
‘There are some people who really don’t want to get vaccinated but they don’t want to lose their job.
‘You’ve got to give them an off lane. And the off-lane is that if you get tested frequently enough and find out you’re positive you won’t come to work and you won’t infect other people.
‘It really is somewhat of a compromise there.
‘Myself, I would make it just vaccinate or not – but he is trying to be moderate in what he was pronouncing.’
Biden’s sweeping new vaccine requirements have Republican governors threatening lawsuits, but he has argued that it is essential to bring down stubbornly-high infection rates and get the country back on track.
Only 54 per cent of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, according to data analyzed by John Hopkins University, and in states such as Wyoming, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana the rate is barely 40 per cent.
A wave of infections driven by the Delta variant has filled hospitals with over 100,000 COVID patients and is producing 1,500 deaths per day – the highest since the winter, according to The New York Times.
The administration is gearing up for another major clash between federal and state rule.
Republicans swiftly denounced the mandate that could impact 100 million Americans as government overreach and vowed to sue, and private employers who resist the requirements may do so as well.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott called it an ‘assault on private businesses’ while Governor Henry McMaster promised to ‘fight them to the gates of hell to protect the liberty and livelihood of every South Carolinian.’
The Republican National Committee has also said it will sue the administration ‘to protect Americans and their liberties.’
A woman in Florida received her vaccination on August 24, in a state where 64.7 per cent are vaccinated – higher than the national average of 54 per cent
The White House is gearing up for legal challenges and believes that even if some of the mandates are tossed out, millions of Americans will get a shot because of the new requirements – saving lives and preventing the spread of the virus.
Biden is putting enforcement in the hands of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is drafting a rule ‘over the coming weeks,’ Jeffrey Zients, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said Friday.
He warned that ‘if a workplace refuses to follow the standard, the OSHA fines could be quite significant.’
Biden is also requiring vaccination for employees of the executive branch and contractors who do business with the federal government – with no option to test out.