WASHINGTON (AP) — In his most forceful pandemic actions and words, President Joe Biden on Thursday announced sweeping new federal vaccine requirements affecting as many as 100 million Americans in an all-out effort to increase COVID-19 vaccinations and curb the surging delta variant.
Biden sharply criticized the roughly 80 million Americans who are not yet vaccinated, despite months of availability and incentives.
“We’ve been patient. But our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us,” he said, all but biting off his words. The unvaccinated minority “can cause a lot of damage, and they are.”
Republican leaders — and some union chiefs, too — said Biden was going too way too far in trying to muscle private companies and workers, a certain sign of legal challenges to come.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson and State Attorney General Eric Schmitt were among critics of the Thursday announcement that among other things mandates that all employers with more than 100 workers require them to be vaccinated or test for the virus weekly.
Schmitt, a candidate for the U.S. Senate, took to his personal Twitter account to decry the announcement.
Caleb Rowden, the Majority Leader of the Missouri State Senate called for lawmakers to take action to protect Missouri residents and businesses.