Biden proposes incentives to encourage Covid vaccinations

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President Joe Biden called on states, territories and local governments to do more to incentivise Covid-19 vaccination by offering $100 to those who get vaccinated and reimbursing small- and medium-sized businesses for offering their employees paid leave to get their family members vaccinated, news wires reported. "I know that paying people to get vaccinated might sound unfair to folks who have gotten vaccinated already. But here's the deal, if incentives help us beat this virus, I believe we should use them," Biden said on Thursday.

He also announced that every federal government employee and onsite contractor will be asked to "attest to their vaccination status," and will require anyone not fully vaccinated to wear a mask at work regardless of where they live, social distance and get tested once or twice a week. Employees can also face restrictions on official travel.

"It's literally about life and death. It's about life and death. That's what it’s about," Biden said "I know people talk about freedom. But I learned growing up, school and my parents, with freedom comes responsibility. Your decision to be unvaccinated impacts someone else. Unvaccinated people spread the virus. They get sick and fill up our hospitals. And that means if someone else has a heart attack or breaks a hip, there may not be a hospital bed for them."

Biden was also directing the Department of Defense to look into how and when they will add Covid-19 vaccination to the list of required vaccinations for members of the military, according to a fact sheet that was released to reporters.

He also addressed the Department of Veteran Affairs announcement earlier this week that it would mandate the vaccine for its doctors and nurses, comparing the decision to several major hospital systems. The According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 163.8 million people in the United States are fully vaccinated out of a population of some 330 million.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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