It’s Thursday aka one week until I’m…
For Thursday, November 4th, 2021, President Biden has received his daily brief. Nothing else at this time is listed on his schedule.
There is a possibility a press event is added to President Biden’s schedule similar to yesterday unlisted press briefing.
Today, the Biden Administration announced details of two major vaccination policies.
From the fact-sheet:
First, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is announcing the details of a requirement for employers with 100 or more employees to ensure each of their workers is fully vaccinated or tests for COVID-19 on at least a weekly basis. The OSHA rule will also require that these employers provide paid-time for employees to get vaccinated, and ensure all unvaccinated workers wear a face mask in the workplace. OSHA has a strong 50-year record of requiring employers to take common sense actions to prevent workers from getting sick or injured on the job. This rule will cover 84 million employees.
Second, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) at the Department of Health and Human Services is announcing the details of its requirement that health care workers at facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid are fully vaccinated. The rule applies to more than 17 million workers at approximately 76,000 health care facilities, including hospitals and long-term care facilities.
The Administration has previously implemented policies requiring millions of federal employees and federal contractors to be fully vaccinated. To make it easy for businesses and workers to comply, the Administration is announcing today that the deadline for workers to receive their shots will be the same for the OSHA rule, the CMS rule, and the previously-announced federal contractor vaccination requirement. Employees falling under the ETS, CMS, or federal contractor rules will need to have their final vaccination dose – either their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or single dose of Johnson & Johnson – by January 4, 2022. OSHA is also clarifying that it will not apply its new rule to workplaces covered by either the CMS rule or the federal contractor vaccination requirement. And, both OSHA and CMS are making clear that their new rules preempt any inconsistent state or local laws, including laws that ban or limit an employer’s authority to require vaccination, masks, or testing.White House.gov. 11/04/2021.
New Vaccination Requirement for Employers With 100 or More Employees: OSHA is issuing a COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to require employers with 100 or more employees (i.e., “covered employers”) to:
- Get Their Employees Vaccinated by January 4th and Require Unvaccinated Employees to Produce a Negative Test on at Least a Weekly Basis: All covered employers must ensure that their employees have received the necessary shots to be fully vaccinated – either two doses of Pfizer or Moderna, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson – by January 4th. After that, all covered employers must ensure that any employees who have not received the necessary shots begin producing a verified negative test to their employer on at least a weekly basis, and they must remove from the workplace any employee who receives a positive COVID-19 test or is diagnosed with COVID-19 by a licensed health care provider. The ETS lays out the wide variety of tests that comply with the standard. Given that vaccines are safe, free, and the most effective way for workers to be protected from COVID-19 transmission at work, the ETS does not require employers to provide or pay for tests. Employers may be required to pay for testing because of other laws or collective bargaining agreements.
- Pay Employees for the Time it Takes to Get Vaccinated: All covered employers are required to provide paid-time for their employees to get vaccinated and, if needed, sick leave to recover from side effects experienced that keep them from working.
- Ensure All Unvaccinated Employees are Masked: All covered employers must ensure that unvaccinated employees wear a face mask while in the workplace.
- Other Requirements and Compliance Date: Employers are subject to requirements for reporting and recordkeeping that are spelled out in the detailed OSHA materials available here. While the testing requirement for unvaccinated workers will begin after January 4th, employers must be in compliance with all other requirements – such as providing paid-time for employees to get vaccinated and masking for unvaccinated workers – on December 5th. The Administration is calling on all employers to step up and make these changes as quickly as possible.
New Vaccination Requirements for Health Care Workers: CMS is requiring workers at health care facilities participating in Medicare or Medicaid to have received the necessary shots to be fully vaccinated – either two doses of Pfizer or Moderna, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson – by January 4th. The rule covers approximately 76,000 health care facilities and more than 17 million health care workers – the majority of health care workers in America – and will enhance patient safety in health care settings. The rule applies to employees regardless of whether their positions are clinical or non-clinical and includes employees, students, trainees, and volunteers who work at a covered facility that receives federal funding from Medicare or Medicaid. It also includes individuals who provide treatment or other services for the facility under contract or other arrangements. Among the facility types covered by the rule are hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, dialysis facilities, home health agencies, and long-term care facilities. Today’s action will help provide patients assurance about the vaccination status of those delivering care, create a level playing field across health care facilities, and help to address challenges facilities have faced with staff sickness and quarantines impacting delivery of care.
Streamlining Implementation and Setting One Deadline Across Different Vaccination Requirements: The rules released today ensure employers know which requirements apply to which workplaces. Federal contractors may have some workplaces subject to requirements for federal contractors and other workplaces subject to the newly-released COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing ETS. To make it easy for all employers to comply with the requirements, the deadline for the federal contractor vaccination requirement will be aligned with those for the CMS rule and the ETS. Employees falling under the ETS, CMS, or federal contractor rules will need to have their final vaccination dose – either their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or single dose of Johnson & Johnson – by January 4, 2022. This will make it easier for employers to ensure their workforce is vaccinated, safe, and healthy, and ensure that federal contractors implement their requirements on the same timeline as other employers in their industries. And, the newly-released ETS will not be applied to workplaces subject to the federal contractor requirement or CMS rule, so employers will not have to track multiple vaccination requirements for the same employees.
The background press call with Senior Admin Officials on the rules for vaccination in the workplace can be found here.
The White House published the following Presidential statement regarding the new rules…
For our country, the choice is simple: get more people vaccinated, or prolong this pandemic and its impact on our country. The virus will not go away by itself, or because we wish it away: we have to act. Vaccination is the single best pathway out of this pandemic. And while I would have much preferred that requirements not become necessary, too many people remain unvaccinated for us to get out of this pandemic for good. So I instituted requirements – and they are working. They protect our workers and have helped us reduce the number of unvaccinated Americans over the age of 12 from approximately 100 million in late July when I began requirements to just about 60 million today.
Vaccination requirements are good for the economy. They not only increase vaccination rates but they help send people back to work – as many as 5 million American workers. They make our economy more resilient in the face of COVID and keep our businesses open.
Today, the Labor Department issued its rule requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for companies with 100 or more employees. If you work for one of these companies you will either need to get vaccinated or test at least weekly.
Also today, the Department of Health and Human Services released its rule to ensure that our nation’s healthcare workers are vaccinated. No one should be at risk when they seek medical care.
Together, these rules will cover about 100 million Americans – two-thirds of all workers in America.
As we’ve seen with businesses – large and small – across all sectors of our economy, the overwhelming majority of Americans choose to get vaccinated. There have been no “mass firings” and worker shortages because of vaccination requirements. Despite what some predicted and falsely assert, vaccination requirements have broad public support.
And vaccination requirements are nothing new. We’ve been living with them throughout our lives for all sorts of diseases. Safety rules in the workplace are nothing new either. We require hard hats in construction sites and safety goggles in labs. And with today’s actions, we now have requirements to protect people from something that has taken the lives of 750,000 Americans.
I’m calling on employers to act. Businesses have more power than ever before to accelerate our path out of this pandemic, save lives, and protect our economic recovery.White House.gov. 11/04/2021.
President Biden has tweeted 2 times so far for Thursday; I’ll be sharing his first Thursday tweet down thread.
His second Thursday tweet:
When Biden Bits was published on Wednesday, President Biden had tweeted 4 times. He added 4 tweets giving him a Wednesday Tweeting Total of 8 tweets and 0 retweets.
As mentioned above President Biden made unscheduled remarks yesterday regarding the FDA and CDC announcement that they have approved use of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine in children ages 5-11. The below YouTube is 15 minutes and 50 seconds long. His full remarks can be found here.
President Biden: So, parents of children ages five and older, please get them vaccinated. Because here’s the deal: Children make up one quarter of the cases in this country. And while rare, children can get very sick from COVID-19. And some can end up — few — but end up hospitalized. But they don’t have to. This vaccine is safe and effective. So, get your children vaccinated to protect themselves, to protect others, and to stop the spread, and to help us beat this pandemic.
President Biden: We’ve made incredible progress over these past nine months, but we have to keep going.
The pandemic is not yes [sic] behind us — yet behind us, but we’re getting there. So, please — please do your part. If you know someone who is not vaccinated, encourage them to get vaccinated.
President Biden: Twenty-eight million more young Americans are now eligible for the protection of a vaccine, and my administration is ready — we’re ready from day one, today — organized, and have a plan for this vaccination’s launch. As soon as next week, we will have enough vaccine in enough places, and parents will be able to schedule appointments to get their kids their first shot. And we’ve already secured enough vaccine supply for every single child in America ages 5 through 11. And weeks ago, we asked states and pharmacies to put together their detailed plan to start placing their orders for these specially formulated vaccines for young children. We started packing and shipping these orders last week, as soon as FDA authorized the vaccine.
Wednesday President Biden issued one non-related to vaccination tweet:
His full statement:
Today, Senate Republicans blocked debate on the bipartisan John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Provisions in the bill have passed the Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support five times, most recently 98-0 in 2006. Let there be a debate and let there be a vote.
The right to vote is sacred and constitutional. It’s fundamental to all other rights. The soul of America is at stake.White House.gov. 11/04/2021.
Opinion time: I don’t care if the Republicans vote for or against the bill. I’m tired of them blocking debates. Debating a bill is part of their job as Senators. If they don’t even want to talk about what’s in the bill they should get the fuck out of the Senate. I’m not even saying the D’s never did it or played these games, but ffs, the Republicans refuse to debate anything, unless it’s spending bills that they just on the sly approve after bitching and whining on Fox News about the spending bills. I’m tired of the games they play and that goes for either party.
Given that White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has tested positive for the coronavirus handling the daily presser today is Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. The daily press briefing is scheduled to start at 2:00 p.m. D.C., time.