The Biden administration's COVID-19 response team announced Monday that the Department of Defense and all federal agencies will be introducing vaccination requirements for federal-level employees in the workplace.
The Defense Department is figuring out how to add the COVID-19 vaccines to the list of required ones for military members.
For the general federal workforce, staff will need to "attest" to their vaccination status and those who aren't vaccinated will face workplace restrictions.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky were also present at the White House meeting Monday led by the Biden's administrations COVID-19 response coordinator Jeffrey Zients.
"We are also working with states to encourage vaccinations through incentives, which have made a difference throughout the vaccination effort. Last week, the president called on states and local governments to use funding they have received—including from the American Rescue Plan—to give one hundred dollars to anyone who gets fully vaccinated," Zients said during the virtual meeting.
It was earlier last week that leaders like Mayor de Blasio of New York City publicly remarked that the "voluntary phase" for vaccination rollout is over. In today's briefing, Zients praised states like New Mexico and Minnesota for enacting financial incentives for residents receiving the COVID-19 vaccinate.
There's a moment of pause before Zients continued: "But in addition to incentives, it's time to impose some requirements, based on the realities of different risks unvaccinated individuals pose versus those who have been vaccinated."
Zients reminded viewers about last Monday's news of vaccination requirements for employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs. He described the report as a move that's being standardized by healthcare workers nationwide. Then he discussed the expansion of vaccination requirements to the other federal agencies.
"At the president's direction, the Department of Defense is looking into how and when they will add COVID-19 vaccination to the list of required vaccinations for the military. And to protect the federal workforce, their loved ones and their communities, the President announced that every federal government employee will be asked to attest to their vaccination status. Any federal employee who does not attest, or is not vaccinated, will be required to mask no matter where they work, get tested once or twice a week, socially distance, and generally will not be allowed to travel for work," Zients announced.
Zients rounded off by saying similar requirements are in store for federal contractors, on top of everything else he just mentioned.