Joe Biden announces financial incentives and mandatory vaccination for government employees.
The new wave of the virus is here, but too many Americans are unvaccinated. So now the US president is trying to counteract this with tougher regulations and $ 100 bonuses.
US President Joe Biden has presented new measures against the rapid spread of the Delta variant in his country. Among other things, he now wants to encourage citizens to vaccinate with a cash bonus. In addition, a corona vaccination should generally apply to millions of government employees. Vaccination should also be compulsory for women soldiers.
The USA is reacting to a new corona wave in the country. Within a month, the number of new infections has quintupled from around 13,000 to around 65,000. But only 49 percent of the US population are vaccinated. According to experts, the contagion numbers would go up even further before an improvement could occur, said Biden.
“We have the means to prevent this new wave of Covid from having to close our businesses, schools, our society as we did last year,” said Biden.
As Biden announced in a speech in the White House, about 2.2 million federal employees and 3.7 million federal contract employees are “required to prove their vaccination status”. Those who are not fully vaccinated have to wear a mask permanently at work and have themselves tested for the coronavirus up to twice a week.
Biden also recommended that states and local authorities pay a $ 100 reward to each newly vaccinated citizen. According to the Treasury Department, they could take the money from a federal Covid-19 aid package of $ 350 billion approved in March.
Some states and companies in the United States have already used such monetary incentives to increase vaccination readiness, including New Mexico, Ohio, and Colorado. A supermarket chain, for example, had offered a cash gift of 100 dollars and thus increased the vaccination rate of its employees from 50 percent to 75 percent, said the White House.