The Biden administration also ordered that all federal employees and employees of government contractors must be vaccinated.
Here’s what we know about the president’s new plan to fight the pandemic.
What did the administration order and what’s the authority to do so?
Biden said the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration would issue an “emergency temporary standard” that mandates employers with 100 or more workers require the vaccine or conduct weekly testing of unvaccinated employees.
The administration is also requiring employers with more than 100 employees to provide paid time off to allow workers to get vaccinated or recover if they are ill after the shot.
OSHA has the power to issue those standards until a permanent standard is developed when “workers are in grave danger” from exposure to toxic substances or agents or to new hazards, according to its website.
For example, in June, it issued an emergency temporary standard requiring health care employers to provide N95 masks and other personal protective equipment to some employees and ensure social distancing. The orders are subject to challenge in the U.S. Court of Appeals.
Who does the vaccine mandate cover?
The vaccine mandate covers all private employers with more than 100 employees, meaning it will generally apply to corporations and other large businesses. In all, more than 80 million workers are affected.
If workers choose not to be vaccinated, they would have to pass a weekly COVID-19 test to come to work.
Biden singled out some companies that already have vaccination requirements: United Airlines, Disney, Tyson Foods and “even Fox News.”
Who does it not cover?
Smaller private businesses with fewer than 100 people are not included in the mandate. However, Biden issued vaccination mandates for other workers as well. They include most federal government workers, all 17 million workers at nursing home facilities and hospitals that receive Medicare and Medicaid funds and staff of federal Head Start and Early Head Start programs.
In all, Biden said the mandates cover about 100 million Americans, or two-thirds of the U.S. workforce.
Biden also called for COVID-19- vaccines to be required to attend sports arenas, large concert halls and other venues where large groups of people gather. Yet he did not single out outdoor football games.
Who counts as a federal worker?
The vaccine order for the federal government requires all federal executive branch workers to be vaccinated as well as all employees of federal contractors.
It covers about 90% of approximately 4 million federal workers but does not apply to non-executive branch employees such as members of Congress or judicial employees.
In addition, the order covers federal departments and agencies that have already started to implement vaccination mandates: the military and other service members under the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Indian Health Service, and the National Institutes of Health.
Previously, Biden in July required federal employees show they have been vaccinated or undergo regular testing.
When will this start?
It was unclear on Thursday when exactly the requirements would take effect. OSHA is expected to issue the rule “in the coming weeks,” according to the White House, and implementation could follow a timeline similar to those in the public and private sectors. In some cases, those have ranged from weeks to months.
The exact timeframe will be dependent on the rulemaking process.
What about HIPAA? How can employers ask for this?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, know as HIPAA, prevents health care professionals from sharing private health information without the patient’s permission. It does not apply to those outside of a health care setting, such as businesses and individuals, asking questions about a person’s vaccine status, experts say.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission previously issued guidelines in May that allow employers to require on-site employees be vaccinated, provided they don’t violate civil rights and disability laws. In July, the Department of Justice also announced that federal law does not prohibit federal agencies or private businesses from mandating vaccines.
What are the punishments for businesses that don’t comply?
Businesses that do not comply with Biden’s directive will face “substantial fines” up to $14,000, according to a senior administration official. The Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration will enforce the fine.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Who’s covered by Biden’s new vaccine mandates? When do they go into effect? Here’s what we know.
In a video released by the Spanish ministry, Albares said that the goal was to hold talks “with one of the main key players in the region” and find ways to “leave no one behind.” The minister said he would give assurances to the Pakistani government that Spain’s embassy would deal fast with Afghans who worked for the country in order for them not to become a burden for Pakistan.
Albares’ is the first trip by a Spanish foreign minister to Pakistan in 70 years of diplomatic relations.
MORE ON AFGHANISTAN:
— Flight takes about 200, including Americans, out of Kabul
— Pentagon chief: al-Qaida may seek comeback in Afghanistan
— Analysis: Taliban hard-line path worsens Afghanistan dilemma
— As flights resume, plight of Afghan allies tests Biden’s vow
— Find more AP coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/afghanistan
ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s foreign minister says it is the collective responsibility of the international community to help Afghanistan to avert a humanitarian crisis.
In a statement Friday, Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that despite having limited resources, Pakistan a day earlier sent a plane carrying food and medicines to Kabul. Qureshi said more such aid will be dispatched to Afghanistan via land routes.
Qureshi made his comments ahead of the visit of his Spanish counterpart, José Manuel Albares, who was expected to arrive in the capital, Islamabad, later Friday, for talks on Afghanistan.
Qureshi said that a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan wouldn’t be anyone’s interest — in the region or in the world.
Pakistan wants the international community to unfreeze Afghanistan’s assets to enable Kabul use its own money to avert a worsening humanitarian crisis.
The Taliban government currently does not have access to the Afghanistan central bank’s $9 billion in reserves, most of which is held by the New York Federal Reserve. These reserves were blocked amid last month’s political turmoil in Afghanistan.
UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations development agency says Afghanistan is teetering on the brink of “universal poverty” which could become a reality in the middle of next year unless urgent efforts are made to bolster local communities and their economies.
It said the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has put 20 years of steady economic gains at risk.
The U.N. Development Program outlined four scenarios for Afghanistan following the Taliban’s Aug. 15 assumption of power that predict the country’s GDP will decline between 3.6% and 13.2% in the next fiscal year starting in June 2022, depending on the intensity of the crisis and how much the world engages with the Taliban. That is in sharp contrast to the expected 4% growth in GDP before the fall of the government.
“Afghanistan pretty much faces universal poverty by the middle of next year,” Kanni Wignaraja, UNDP’s Asia-Pacific Director, told a news conference Thursday launching its 28-page assessment. “That’s where we’re heading — it’s 97-98% (poverty rate) no matter how you work these projections.”
Currently, the poverty rate is 72% and Wignaraja pointed to many development gains after the Taliban were ousted from power in 2001: Per capita income more than doubled in the last 20 years, life expectancy at birth was extended by about nine years, the number of years of schooling rose from six to 10, “and we got women into university.”
But she said Afghanistan now faces “a humanitarian and development disaster” resulting from political instability, frozen foreign reserves, a collapsed public finance system, “a crush on local banking because of this,” as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
UNITED NATIONS — The United States has a message for the Taliban: If it lives up to all its commitments, brings greater stability to Afghanistan and the region, demonstrates widespread inclusion, and protects the gains of the last 20 years “we’ll work with it.”
But U.S. deputy ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis, who delivered the message at a U.N. Security Council meeting on Thursday, stressed that “any legitimacy and support will have to be earned.”
He said the standards the international community has set are clear and include facilitating safe passage for Afghans and foreign nationals who want to leave Afghanistan and respecting the country’s obligations under international humanitarian law “including those related to the protection of civilians.”
“We’re watching closely to see that those standards are met,” he said.
DeLaurentis told the council that following the U.S. withdrawal and the Taliban takeover, Afghanistan needs the United Nations and the U.N. political mission in the country “more than ever.”
He said “the United States remains committed to the people of Afghanistan,” and as the country’s largest humanitarian donor it is helping partners on the ground provide assistance, “but the needs are vast.”
With the diplomatic footprint in the country reduced, DeLaurentis said, “the U.N. has a vitally important role to play” not only in coordinating aid but in preventing human rights violations and abuses and pursuing accountability for those that have occurred, and in protecting children and civilians.
Bad hands. Bad penalties. Bad coverage. This was part of the story that nearly led to an embarrassing disaster as the Bucs opened defense of their Super Bowl crown with a 31-29 verdict against the Dallas Cowboys that had a lot of good fortune wrapped around that championship grit and another last-minute game-winning drive engineered by Tom Brady.
The Bucs had four turnovers, 11 penalties and at least a half-dozen dropped passes. They were scorched by Dak Prescott for 403 yards, converted less than half of their third downs. They were outgained in total yards. Lost the time-of-possession measure, too.
Yet they still won. Maybe it didn’t all add up, except when you realize you still have a chance to win with Brady getting one last drive.
When someone asked Bucs coach Bruce Arians what he thought when the Bucs, trailing by one, got the football back with 1:24 on the clock, he said, “I never had a doubt that we would win the game.”
Now that it’s over, though, the straight-shooting coach sure has plenty of fresh material to hammer home messages about what it will take to make another championship run – and how that was not consistently on display at Raymond James Stadium, where they celebrated the Super Bowl LV crown during pregame festivities.
“I learned a long time ago that you don’t learn anything more from losing than you do from almost losing,” Arians said. “We have a lot to learn. Obviously, not pleased with the start of the game. Loved the finish. Our guys are winners.”
WINNERS, LOSERS OF BUCS’ VICTORY: Bad day for Ezekiel Elliott, other RBs
And winners find ways to claim victory despite being on the ropes. Brady demonstrated that as much as anyone. He threw two picks and was nearly upstaged by Prescott, who played for the first time since suffering a gruesome ankle injury last October. But he also threw for four touchdowns and was spot-on when he needed to be on the final drive, which culminated with Ryan Succop’s 36-yard field goal with two seconds left.
“Not a perfect game,” said Brady, who completed 32 of 50 passes for 379 yards and was never sacked. “Obviously, a lot to kind of unpack from this one.”
Video: Can’t-Miss Play: Brady dials launch codes to AB for 47-yard TD bomb (NFL)
From the half-full department: Brady connected with Antonio Brown for a 47-yard touchdown that quickly got the lead back in the second quarter, found Rob Gronkowski for a couple of touchdowns (that’s 100, including the playoffs, for the big tight end). And there were other sweet passes that didn’t show up in the box score. Early in the game, he dropped a tear-drop dime to Brown for an over-the-shoulder sideline catch. Late in the game, he found Leonard Fournette — or rather Fournette found the ball, leaping above the defender as if snagging a rebound — to save Brady and the Bucs. At least temporarily.
Minutes later, with the Bucs seemingly in control and marching toward the end zone, Chris Godwin caught a pass inside the 10 and spun forward to the goal line. Yet Godwin, who minutes earlier dropped a deep third-down strike, fumbled to give the Cowboys a revival.
Dallas scratched out a drive that resulted in Greg Zuerlein’s 48-yard field goal to give the Cowboys a 29-28 lead with 1:29 remaining.
“Obviously, you never want to put your team in a compromising position like that,” Godwin said of his late-game turnover. “But I’m grateful that I had an opportunity to redeem myself.”
Done. His 24-yard catch on a sideline stop route set up the game-winning kick. Bucs win. But whew.
Of course, Brady, the 44-year-old beginning his 22nd NFL season, has been here before. Someone told him that the game marked the 40th fourth-quarter back back victory of his career. He pretty shrugged it off.
“I’ve played a long time,” he said. “A lot of football.”
Gronkowski knows. His 11-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter was classic Brady. It came after the quarterback improvised and twice called checks to switch his tight end’s assignment on the third-down play. In the end, Gronkowski stayed into block initially and then released to post up in the middle at the goal line while Brady scooted out of the pocket before arching a pass for his 6-foot, 7-inch target.
“No, that was not by design,” Brady said. “There were a lot of things that were off on that play.”
Yet there were a lot of things that were on, allowing the Bucs to score a touchdown rather than settle for a field-goal attempt.
“I was like, ‘Oh, man. He just sees it all on the field,’ “ said Gronkowski, who caught eight passes for 90 yards. “It’s impressive. The guy has been playing for 80 years. He’s seen every defense, every play. He’s seen so many fronts, too. And he saw it, he read it well.”
It was that kind of a night for the Bucs. Not always pretty. But sufficient enough.