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Joe Biden urged by Michigan business groups to reconsider vaccine mandate
US President Joe Biden continues to promote getting vaccinated for COVID-19, especially as more demographics are now allowed to get the shot. Business groups based in Michigan have recently urged the US leader to reconsider his plan to put in place a federal vaccine mandate.
Biden has previously talked about a plan that federal workers must get vaccinated for COVID-19 otherwise be subject to weekly testing for coronavirus in another effort to get the American public vaccinated. This has led to business groups in Michigan raising questions and concerns regarding the specifics of the said plan. However, they have said that should it be enacted, state governor Gretchen Whitmer should make sure that the state rules are not as strict.
Six state chambers, including the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, had some questions and concerns about the pending federal mandate that would require companies that have at least 100 employees to get inoculated or face weekly testing. The groups’ concerns were the cost, the logistics of checking employees’ vaccination status, and test results. This is also coming at a time where human resources or other related staffing is limited and that the 100-employee threshold is arbitrary.
They have also questioned how employees would be counted and whether those who have not received the shot would still be able to work while waiting for their weekly test results. There is also the length of time that companies will have to comply with OSHA’s rule.
Whitmer, who is a Democrat, has said she does not plan to put in place broad vaccine or mask mandates.
In other related news, Biden met with members of conflicting factions in the Democratic Party in the hopes of getting both sides to come to an agreement regarding the $3.5 trillion social infrastructure and jobs package. Vice President Kamala Harris and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also met with both factions of the party during the day. This comes as the bill faces a possibility to fail passage through the Senate due to two so-called moderate Democrats, Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, who have publicly opposed the bill.
Biden met with Manchin Tuesday morning, followed by a meeting with Sinema. Later in the day, Biden, along with Harris and Yellen, met with House Progressive Democrats before meeting with centrist House and Senate Democrats.