President Joe Biden urged American companies on Monday to begin ordering staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as he celebrated the FDA’s final approval of the Pfizer vaccine.
After delivering the much needed good news he exited the White House auditorium sharply, without stopping to answer questions about the crisis in Afghanistan.
It was a welcome moment for an administration battered by weeks of negative headlines, from spiking cases of COVID-19 to the collapse of the Afghan government and plunging poll numbers.
Major companies like Amtrak, Walt Disney and Walmart have already required their workers to be immunized and the Pentagon have said they will mandate all troops. But Biden’s calls for all companies to make their requirements stricter is likely to face calls of federal government overreach and legal challenges.
States including Florida and Texas have already fought back against vaccine mandates and believe it is a personal choice to get the shot. Biden, speaking at the White House, portrayed it as a huge victory even though it will be of limited practical value months after the vaccination received emergency approval.
Even so, he spoke directly to what he said were ‘millions’ of Americans who may have been waiting for full approval before trusting the jab – even though the shots have been going in arms since December 2020.
‘It has now happened,’ Biden said. ‘The moment you’ve been waiting for is here. It’s time for you go get your vaccine.
‘Get it today.’