Washington — President Biden is calling on state and local governments to use COVID-19 relief funds to give $100 to residents who get vaccinated, part of a broader push by the administration to vaccinate Americans as the Delta variant fuels new infections nationwide.
Mr. Biden plans to announce the next phase of his vaccination push at the White House on Thursday, including an expansion of paid leave to get the vaccine and a new effort to vaccinate students ahead of the school year.
The federal government isn’t authorizing new funding for vaccination incentives. Instead, the White House is asking states, localities and territories to use leftover funding from thepassed in March.
How to watch President Biden’s remarks today
- What: President Biden delivers remarks “laying out the next steps in our effort to get more Americans vaccinated and combat the spread of the Delta variant”
- Date: Thursday, July 29, 2021
- Time: 4 p.m. ET
- Location: The White House
- Online stream: Live on CBSN — in the player above and on your mobile or streaming device
The White House pointed to the success of similar vaccine incentive programs in states like Ohio, New Mexico and Colorado, and cited research indicating that a third of unvaccinated Americans said cash payments would make them more likely to get their shots.
The president also plans to announce that all federal workers and onsite contractors will be asked to confirm their vaccination status. Anyone who is not fully vaccinated will be required to wear a mask on the job, comply with weekly or twice weekly testing, and stay physically distant from all other employees.
The White House said Mr. Biden will also direct the defense secretary to look into how and when the military will add the COVID-19 vaccine to the long list of required vaccinations for military members.
The federal government employs more than 2 million people in its civilian workforce, apart from the military.
Roughly 70% of American adults have received at least one dose of their coronavirus vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Biden administration has been pushing those who have not yet received their shots to do so. On Wednesday, more than 754,000 doses of the vaccines were administered, including 498,000 newly vaccinated people, according to Cyrus Shahpar, the White House’s COVID-19 data director.
Many state and local leaders announced this week they would be reinstating mitigation measures, and some imposed new vaccine requirements for public workers amid a rise in new coronavirus infections. Nearly all of those hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated, White House officials said.
The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Monday it isto get their COVID-19 shots, and a coalition of major medical organizations is for all U.S. health care workers. California and New York City are also to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo frequent testing.
The surge in new coronavirus cases led the CDC toTuesday to recommend that vaccinated Americans in areas of the country with “substantial or high transmission” of the coronavirus wear masks indoors. The federal health agency also said masks should be required in K-12 schools.
The federal government moved swiftly in responding to the new mask guidance, with masks now required again in the White House. The top doctor on Capitol Hill also recommended masks be required for lawmakers and staff indoors, though the new mandate has alreadybetween Democrats and resistant Republicans.