President Joe Biden on Thursday did not rule out the possibility that the federal government could issue a mandatory order for the vaccination against COVID-19 for all Americans and admitted that the White House is consulting on the matter.
Speaking to reporters after giving a speech in which he explained the new measures on vaccination, Biden acknowledged that he would like to see states, private companies or schools follow in line to make vaccination mandatory.
“I would like to see them move in that direction,” said the president, who assured that he has asked the Justice Department to determine if it can be done legally.
He stated in this regard that local communities can do it, as can businesses, and added: “The question is whether the federal government can mandate it for the entire country. I don’t know yet.”
This is the first time that Biden has suggested the possibility of vaccination becoming mandatory. Last Tuesday, in her daily press conference, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki insisted, on the contrary, that “it is not the role” of the federal government to force vaccination, and questioned whether it even has “the power” to do so, legally.
The White House announced on Thursday that it will force the more than 4 million U.S. government workers to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 if they do not want to be tested on a regular basis.