Biden to push COVID-19 vaccine mandates for businesses in Illinois visit

President Biden is set to promote COVID-19 vaccine mandates for businesses during his rescheduled visit to Chicago Thursday, where he is set to meet with leaders in both the private and public sector, and will stress that those requirements will “accelerate” the end of the coronavirus pandemic.

The president is set to meet with leaders in Chicago who have implemented vaccine requirements, including Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby.

The president is set to visit a construction site in Elk Grove Village being built by Clayco, one of the largest construction companies in the Midwest. At the event, Clayco is expected to announce its “strong support” of Biden’s plan to require vaccinations or weekly testing. The company is also set to announce its implementation of system of vaccinations or testing to all of their employees, in line with Biden’s requirements.

Biden signed an executive order last month requiring that all workers in the Executive Branch be vaccinated against COVID-19. Biden also signed an order to require businesses with more than 100 workers to mandate coronavirus vaccinations.

White House officials, in previewing the president’s trip, said his message “will be clear.”

“Vaccination requirements work. Vaccination requirements get more people vaccinated, helping to end the pandemic and strengthen the economy,” an official said. “That’s why he’s leading on implementing vaccination requirements for 100 million workers – two-thirds of all workers in the U.S.”

The official added, “That’s why we’re seeing growing momentum for vaccination requirements across sectors and across the country.” The White House, ahead of the visit Thursday, released a new report saying vaccination requirements are helping to drive up vaccination rates, put people back to work and strengthen the economy. The analysis, according to White House officials, looks at existing vaccination requirements in health care systems, educational institutions, businesses and the public sector. Officials said the report “demonstrates with data that vaccination requirements work and will accelerate our path out of the pandemic.”

The report found that vaccination requirements have “already helped cut the rate of unvaccinated Americans by one-third” and stressed that increasing vaccination rates could return “up to 5 million workers to the labor force.”

Biden’s trip to Chicago was initially scheduled for last week but was rescheduled amid negotiations with Congress on his Build Back Better Act and the bipartisan infrastructure deal.

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