President Joe Biden on Thursday will announce a vaccine mandate for all federal employees and contractors as coronavirus infections rise in the U.S., according to a source who spoke with CNN.
Biden alluded to the announcement Tuesday when he spoke to reporters after delivering an address at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
"We have a pandemic because of the unvaccinated, and they're sowing enormous confusion. And the more we've learned about this virus and the delta variant, the more we have to be worried and concerned. There's only one thing we know for sure: If those other ... people got vaccinated, we'd be in a very different world," the President said.
Employees who decline to be vaccinated will be subject to regular testing, social distancing, mask requirements and restrictions on most travel, according to the report.
The Department of Justice concluded earlier Tuesday that federal law does not prohibit public agencies and private businesses from requiring vaccines under emergency use authorization.
The Department of Veterans Affairs a day earlier required that all healthcare workers at the agency be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The report comes the same day the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged vaccinated people in high-transmission areas to resume wearing masks indoors as the highly contagious delta variant spreads.
The agency also called for universal masking for all teachers, students and staff members in schools, regardless of vaccination status.
The changes, said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, were prompted by ''worrisome'' new data that showed vaccinated and unvaccinated people infected by the delta variant carry viral loads that ''are actually quite similar," suggesting that some vaccinated people ''may be contagious and spread the virus to others.''
''In those cases, those rare cases that we have breakthrough infections, we felt it important for people to understand that they have the potential to transmit [the] virus to others,'' she said.
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