Remarks by President Biden at a Meeting with Business Leaders and CEOs on the COVID-19 Response
1:40 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Folks, last week, I laid out a six-point plan for the fall to beat this pandemic, and it’s based on what science tells us. And vaccination is key to getting the pandemic under control and keeping — and keeping the economy strong.
And the first part of the plan is to vaccinate the unvaccinated. This is a — this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated — not anything else right now.
The Labor Department is working on an emergency rule that will require all employers with 100 or more workers to ensure their workers are fully vaccinated and regularly tested. And it’s going to take a little bit for them to put those requirements in place under the law.
We’re also going to require nearly all health workers — healthcare workers to get vaccinated. In addition to that, if we seek — if you seek care at a health facility, it seems to me you should be certain the people who are treating you are vaccinated. And that’s what we’re doing. Period.
And, in total, these vaccination requirements will cover over a hundred million workers — two-thirds of all workers — and it builds on previous requirements that — that we’ve installed so far.
And the vaccine requirements work, and more companies are instituting them. Even Fox News is requiring them. And I’m not being facetious when I say that. I’m — but it’s interesting that they’ve stepped forward and done that as well.
And the — and the group I’m meeting with here today is leading the way. We’ll hear from the CEOs and presidents of Disney; Microsoft; Walgreens; Columbia Sportswear; Kaiser Permanente; Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia — “CHOP” — which I’ve spent a lot of time; and Molly Moon’s Ice Cream.
And we’re joined by Josh Bolten, who — who is the — represents the Business Roundtable — which was a brainchild, I think, from years and years and years ago out of Wilmington, Delaware and the DuPont Company.
And — but it represents over 200 major businesses who champion vaccine mandates that will keep — and to make sure that we keep businesses open and workers safe.
And also, we have Bill Tate. Since instituting the requirement, the Louisiana State University went from — a requirement that there be vaccinations — the vaccination rate at Louisiana State University went from 63 to 81 percent of the students vaccinated in weeks.
And it’s about beating this virus, and it’s about saving lives. That’s what this is all about.
And here’s what Wall Street has had to say recently:
Goldman Sachs: Vaccinations will have a positive impact on employment. It means less spread of COVID, which will help people return to work.
And Moody’s: Vaccinations means fewer infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. And in turn, it means a stronger economy.
And I think everyone — thank everyone for joining me today, and I look forward to working together to beat this pandemic and keep our economy growing and going strong.
So, thank you all for being here. And thank you.
Q Sir, did General Milley do the right thing, sir? In your opinion, did General Milley do the right thing?
THE PRESIDENT: I have great confidence in General Milley.
1:45 P.M. EDT