President Biden arrives in Chicago this afternoon to discuss his plan for vaccine mandates. This comes one week after his scheduled visit was postponed as negotiations continued over the President’s economic agenda. President Biden intends to visit a construction site in Elk Grove Village. The company, Clayco, will require all employees to be fully vaccinated. Any employees that are not vaccinated will undergo weekly coronavirus testing.
President Biden hopes other companies follow suit. His visit to the Chicagoland area will highlight the importance of COVID-19 vaccine requirements. The President has a six-point plan to accelerate the country’s path out of the pandemic. In a press briefing with Drs. Walensky, Fauci, and Murthy, the COVID-19 response team, outlined the progress made on testing, vaccination, and booster shots. Illinois has a vaccination rate of 63% for residents over 12 years old. Chicago has a vaccination rate of 74%. In a statement, the White House said, “The President’s message will be clear: Vaccination requirements work. Vaccination requirements get more people vaccinated, helping to end the pandemic and strengthen the economy.
Biden arrives at O’Hare airport this afternoon, where he is expected to be greeted by Mayor Lightfoot, the CEO of United Airlines, and Gov. Pritzker. Gov. Pritzker and Mayor Lightfoot have supported the President’s COVID-19 plan falling short of requiring mandatory vaccine mandates of larger employers. President Biden wants to mandate all employers with more than 100 workers be vaccinated or face weekly COVID-19 tests. His mandate also requires workers at health facilities that receive medicate or Medicare and federal contractors who do business with the government to be fully vaccinated. Biden believes vaccine mandates will help slow the spread of COVID-19. In addition, with higher vaccination rates, the President believes the economy would benefit as more people head back to work.
Paris Dennard, Republican National Committee (RNC) Spokesman, says President Biden should focus more on “the public safety” crisis in Chicago, saying, “The reality for Chicago residents is that Democrats like Mayor Lori Lightfoot, President Joe Biden continue to let them down while crime surges and families suffer. Photo ops, roundtables, and conversations at the airport are not enough; it is time to act to ensure that every Chicago family can feel safe in their homes and in the communities. Democrats have failed Chicago for decades, and Joe Biden and his policies are no different. Biden should use this trip to focus on public safety not forced vaccine mandates.”
In a statement, the RNC criticized the President’s visit saying, The Biden-Harris administration is more focused on imposing forced vaccine mandates on minorities in Chicago than working to increase public safety in the state. President Trump was willing to put partisanship aside and work with Chicago to get something done, but they ignored it”.
The White House Report on vaccine requirements highlights the economic benefits to cities with higher vaccinations rates. “Without vaccination requirements, we face endless months of chaos in our hospitals, further detrimental impacts on our economy, and anxiety in our schools. With them, we will accelerate our path out of the pandemic,”
Danielle Sanders is a journalist and writer living in Chicago. Find her on social media @DanieSanders20 and @DanieSandersOfficial.