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Remarks Prior to a Meeting With Business Leaders on the COVID-19 Response and National Vaccination Efforts and an Exchange With Reporters

September 15, 2021

The President. Well, folks, last week, I laid out a six-point plan for the fall to beat this pandemic, and it's based on what science tells us. And vaccination is key to getting the pandemic under control and keeping—and keeping—the economy strong.

And the first part of the plan is to vaccinate the unvaccinated. This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated, not anything else right now. And the Labor Department is working on an emergency rule to require all employers with 100 or more workers to ensure their workers are fully vaccinated and regularly tested. And it's going to take a little bit for them to put those requirements in place under the law.

We're also going to require nearly all health workers—health care workers—to get vaccinated. In addition to that, if we seek—if you seek care at a health facility, it seems to me you should be certain the people that are treating you are vaccinated. And that's what we're doing, period.

And, in total, these vaccination requirements will cover a hundred million workers—two-thirds of all workers—and it builds on previous requirements that we've installed so far.

And the vaccine requirements work, and more companies are instituting them. Even at Fox News they require it. And I'm not being facetious when I say that. I'm—but it's interesting that they've stepped forward and done that as well.

And the group I'm meeting with here today is leading the way. We'll hear from the CEOs and presidents of Disney, Microsoft, Walgreens, Columbia Sportswear, Kaiser Permanente, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia—CHOP—which I've spent a lot of time, and Molly Moon's Ice Cream.

And we're joined by Josh Bolten, who is the—represents the Business Roundtable—which was a brainchild, I think, years and years and years ago out of Wilmington, Delaware, and the DuPont Company. And—but it represents over 200 major businesses who champion vaccine mandates to—and keep—and to make sure we keep businesses open and workers safe.

And also, we have Bill Tate. Since instituting the requirement, the Louisiana State University went from—a requirement that there be vaccinations—the vaccination rate at Louisiana State University went from 63 to 81 percent of the students vaccinated in weeks.

And it's about beating this virus, and it's about saving lives. That's what this is all about.

And here's what Wall Street has had to say recently. Goldman Sachs: Vaccinations will have a positive impact on employment. It means less spread of COVID, which will help people return to work. And Moody's: Vaccinations means fewer infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. And in turn, it means a stronger economy.

And I think everyone—thank everyone for joining me today, and I look forward to working together to beat this pandemic and keep our economy growing and going strong.

So thank you all for being here. And thank you.

Yes.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark A. Milley, USA

Q. Sir, did General Milley do the right thing, sir? In your opinion, did General Milley do the right thing?

The President. I have great confidence in General Milley.

NOTE: The President spoke at 1:40 p.m. in the Main Library of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Executive Office Building. In his remarks, he referred to Bob Chapek, chief executive officer, Walt Disney Co.; Brad Smith, president and vice chair, Microsoft Corp., Rosalind "Roz" Brewer, chief executive officer, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.; Tim Boyle, chairman, president, and chief executive officer, Columbia Sportswear; Gregory A. Adams, chairman and chief executive officer, Kaiser Permanente; Madeline Bell, president and chief executive officer, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; Molly Moon Neitzel, founder and chief executive officer, Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream; Joshua B. Bolten, president and chief executive officer, Business Roundtable; and William F. Tate IV, president, Louisiana State University.

Joseph R. Biden, Remarks Prior to a Meeting With Business Leaders on the COVID-19 Response and National Vaccination Efforts and an Exchange With Reporters Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/352565

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