In line with his efforts to advance Covid-19 vaccination mandates for the private sector, President Biden has met on Wednesday with top business leaders, including Walt Disney Co., Microsoft Corp. and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. executives, Axios reports.
Trying to bring the coronavirus pandemic under control, he is working on building support for the sweeping vaccine mandate that will affect roughly 100 million US workers.
Biden laid out a six-point plan last week that envisages requirement for all federal employees to be vaccinated, allowing them no testing alternative, and for private sector companies employing than 100 people to ensure they’re either vaccinated or tested weekly.
At the start of the closed-door meeting, Biden stressed that vaccination is key to getting the pandemic under control and keeping the economy strong so in a time when vaccination rates have flattened across the country, he convened the meeting well aware that business leaders have the power to influence their employees’ decisions.
He reiterated commentary by Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs and Moody’s, saying that vaccinations will have a positive impact on jobs and the economy.
With many of the corporate leaders looking for stronger federal guidance to lean on in the process, the meeting attendees planned to discuss how to expand requirements at their companies and how mandates could drive up vaccinations among employees.
Tim Boyle, CEO of Columbia Sportswear that has stores located in numerous geographical areas with different rules as it relates to the pandemic, lauded the government for giving the employers a level playing field.
Biden pointed after the meeting that Labor Department is crafting an emergency rule to apply to the private sector employees included in the mandate, with details around cost and enforcement still to be ironed out.
Kaiser Permanente CEO Greg Adams noted the need of the private sector and nonprofit organizations stepping up in helping close the vaccination gap by mandating the vaccine for their employees to prevent the virus to absolutely run the economy.