The surgeon general said it’s not an “unusual phenomenon” to mandate vaccines.
U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy defended President Joe Biden’s new actions to combat COVID-19, calling it an “ambitious” and “thoughtful” plan to increase vaccinations as the country faces more than 100,000 cases a day for the past four weeks and roughly a quarter million new cases being reported among children.
“This is the next step in a series of steps that have to be taken to help protect COVID-19, and help us get through this pandemic,” Murthy told ABC “This Week” anchor George Stephanopoulos.
On Thursday, Biden announced his furthest measures yet to combat the delta variant — unveiling a six-part strategy that includes a new Occupational Safety and Health Administration rule for private businesses with over 100 employees to either require workers to be fully vaccinated or face weekly testing, covering roughly 80 million workers.
His mandate on private businesses received swift criticism and legal threats from Republican governors, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis who called it “fundamentally wrong” for someone to lose their job for not being vaccinated.
Asked Sunday for his response to DeSantis, Murthy said, “there are requirements that we put in workplaces and schools every day to make sure that workplaces and schools are safe,” referencing mandatory vaccines for children to attend school.
“This is not an unusual phenomenon. What it is, is I think an appropriate response for us to recognize that if we want our economy to be back, if we want our schools to stay in session, we’ve got to take steps to make sure workplaces and learning environments are safe and these requirements will help do that,” he continued.
This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.