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Biden to tout vaccine mandates for large companies in Chicago trip


U.S. President Joe Biden speaks at McHenry County College about his “American Families Plan,” legislation. He was visiting Crystal Lake in northwest Chicago, Illinois on July 7, 2021.

Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters

The U.S. president Joe Biden plans to travel to Chicago this Thursday in order to meet United AirlinesThe White House stated that he was lauding the decision of his chief executive officer and other local Democratic leaders to make Covid-19 mandatory vaccine mandates for employees at large companies.

Biden ordered federal contractors and workers last month to get vaccinated. Private employers employing 100 workers or more were also required to have their employees vaccinated.

This controversial move was resisted by high-profile Republican governors, including Henry McMaster of South Carolina and Ron DeSantis in Florida. They vowed to resist the government’s “to the gates hell” move.

On Thursday, Biden will highlight local successes, such as Lori Lightfoot’s move to make October the deadline to get all Chicagoans fully immunized, and Chicago-based United being the first U.S. carrier that requires it.

The White House sent an email statement previewing its visit, saying that “the President’s message would be clear: Vaccination obligations work”. The statement said that such mandates help “get more people vaccined, which helps to end pandemics and strengthen the economy.”

Biden, along with Scott Kirby (United CEO) and Lightfoot will accompany the Governor of Illinois J.B. Pritzker. Pritzker announced in August that eligible students and teachers must be vaccinated.

Biden’s declaration of mandate was crucial as the administration tried to contain the pandemic which had already killed over 692,000 Americans.

According to the White House, the mandate will apply to approximately two-thirds of U.S. employees and covers 100 million workers.

This highly contagious Delta form of Covid-19 poses a greater risk to not only the country, but also to President Biden who promised to control the pandemic. Biden’s approval rating has dropped since he stated in July that the United States was closer than ever to declaring its independence from a deadly disease.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky stated Wednesday that hospitalizations and cases have declined on average in the past seven days, but warned that deaths are still stable at 1,400 per hour.

Biden will also be visiting an Elk Grove Village construction site being constructed by Clayco. The White House stated that Clayco plans to introduce a program of testing and vaccinations for its employees.