US President Joe Biden Announces New Coronavirus Actions and Rules for Federal Officials at the White House July 29 | Photo: EFE / EPA / Oliver Contreras / POOL

United States President Joe Biden announced on Thursday (29) new measures to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, including the requirement for federal public officials to prove they have been vaccinated, or will be required to submit weekly tests, to wear compulsory masks, keep the distance and comply with other rules.

“It’s an American tragedy. People who don’t need to die are dying – and will continue to die,” Biden said in a White House speech. “Read the news. You will see stories of unvaccinated patients in hospitals; when they are in their bed dying from Covid-19, they say, “Doctor, can I get the vaccine? And the doctors have to say, ‘I’m sorry, now it’s too late’.

The US president urged private companies to encourage vaccination by creating similar rules for the unvaccinated. The White House plan doesn’t require employees to be vaccinated, but it makes life difficult for those who haven’t been immunized.

Biden also advised the Department of Defense to consider including the Covid-19 vaccine on the list of mandatory vaccinations for members of the armed forces.

Other measures announced by the White House include compensation for companies that offer days off for employees to take their family members for vaccinations. He also urged local governments to use funds from the Covid-19 relief program to offer a $ 100 incentive to get vaccinated – a measure that was passed by New York City this week.

The US federal government employs about 4 million people, according to the Associated Press. The number of people potentially affected by the new rules can be even greater if they are considered service providers and people who receive some kind of subsidy or federal grant.

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Biden’s announcement comes at a time when cases of Covid-19 are on the rise in the United States, which experts attribute to the circulation of the delta variant, which has become widespread in the country, and to hesitation over vaccines, which are freely available. available for people over 12 years old.

Currently, the vast majority of coronaviruses in the United States are unvaccinated – more than 97% of infected people who made it to hospital had not been immunized, the US CDC reported during a presentation at the White House two weeks ago. In July, the average number of new daily cases quadrupled, reaching nearly 67,000 records per day, according to the New York Times tracking. The average number of daily Covid-19 deaths over the past two weeks was 316.

About 615,000 doses are administered daily in the United States, a number well below the peak in April when 3.3 million Americans were vaccinated each day. About 49% of the U.S. population – and 57.7% of those over 12 – have already received full doses of the coronavirus vaccine.