'Our patience is wearing thin': Biden announces vaccine requirements for 100m Americans

10 September 2021, 08:28 | Updated: 10 September 2021, 12:28

100 million Americans will be affected by Joe Biden's sweeping new vaccine requirements.
Joe Biden said his "patience is wearing thin" with people who have chosen not to get a vaccine. Picture: Alamy

By Joe Cook

US President Joe Biden has announced sweeping new vaccine requirements, forcing all employers with more than 100 workers to ensure they are vaccinated or tested weekly.

Biden slammed the 80 million Americans who are yet to be vaccinated in a speech at the White House.

“We’ve been patient. But our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us,” he said. The unvaccinated minority “can cause a lot of damage, and they are,” he added.

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The US president's executive order will require all employers with more than 100 workers to require them to be vaccinated or take a weekly test.

Any employee at a health facility that receives federal Medicare will also have to be vaccinated, as will contractors who do business with the federal government.

The requirements come as the US experiences a 300% increase in cases, as hospital numbers and deaths surge, killing more than 1,000 people per day.

In addition to the vaccination requirements, the fines for passengers who refuse to wear masks on flights will also be doubled, while large venues and arenas will also require vaccine passports.

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The US move to require vaccines follows the announcement from the UK government that vaccine passports will be required for all large venues from the end of September.

Despite widespread criticism from backbench Tory MPs, those visiting clubs and other crowded venues will have to be double vaccinated to enter, with a negative Covid test no longer eligible.

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Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi told LBC that he is not implementing the new measures "with any pleasure".

"No one in this government, not this prime minister. It's not in his DNA to want to curtail people's freedoms, but what we know now is in large-scale gatherings, especially indoors, the virus will spread and you will get a spike," he added.