The president of the United States, Joe Biden, did not rule out on Thursday the possibility that the federal government can order vaccination against covid-19 to all Americans and admitted that the White House is consulting on the matter.
Speaking to journalists after giving a speech in which he explained the new vaccination measures, Biden acknowledged that he would like states, private companies or schools to continue in the line of make vaccination mandatory.
“I would like to see them move in that direction,” said the US president, who assured that he has asked the Department of Justice to determine if it can be done legally.
Biden said in that sense that local communities can do it, as can businesses, adding: “The question is whether the federal government can order it to the whole country. I don’t know yet.”
Escalation of contagions
It is the the first time Biden suggests the possibility that vaccination ends up being mandatory, at a time when the country has suffered an escalation of infections due to the Delta variant.
Last Tuesday, at her daily press conference, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki insisted, on the contrary, that “it is not the role” of the federal government to force vaccination, and questioned whether he even has “the power” to do so, legally.
The White House announced Thursday that it will force the more than 4 million workers of the US government to show proof of vaccination against covid-19 if they do not want to undergo tests on a regular basis, given the advance of the Delta variant in the country.
Those who do not provide this proof must, in addition, wear a mask at work and maintain physical distances, and will generally be prohibited from participating in official trips, explained the president.