WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Biden administration will require that nursing home staff are vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition for those facilities to continue receiving federal Medicare and Medicaid funding.
"I am using the power of the federal government, as a payer of health care costs, to ensure we reduce those risks to the most vulnerable seniors," Biden said Wednesday.
Biden called COVID-19 a "pandemic of the unvaccinated," and pleaded with the unvaccinated to get their shot. He added that 85 million Americans are eligible to receive the vaccine but have not received a dose.
The Biden administration is also putting pressure on the private sector to require vaccines.
"In the last week, AT&T, Amtrak, McDonald's-- they all announced vaccine requirements," Biden stated.
Biden emphatically claimed that the private sector has the power to end the pandemic.
In addition to the announcement about nursing home employees, Biden said he was directing the secretary of education to take additional steps to protect children.
"This includes using all of his oversight authorities and legal action, if appropriate, against governors who are trying to block and intimidate local school officials and educators," Biden stated.
Several states, including Texas and Florida, have orders that prevent school districts from mandating masks.
"If you aren't going to fight COVID-19, at least get out of the way," Biden said to the governors of states that are preventing mask mandates.