How are federal agencies dealing with Biden’s potential vaccine mandate?

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — President Biden is expected to mandate the Covid-19 vaccine for civilian federal employees Thursday.

If employees decide against it, they will be forced to submit to regular testing, masking, and social distancing.

Many federal agencies found locally in Utah tell ABC4 they are going to wait for the official word from President Biden on the vaccine mandate for federal employees.

However, one agency the DEA has already implemented some changes including making their employees wear a mask while they are indoors.

The spread of the Covid-19 Delta variant has the national government and many local governments concerned.

Biden is expected to issue a mandate requiring civilian federal employees to get vaccinated.

Locally, there are several federal agencies with offices in Utah, however, none were available for an interview Wednesday, but they released statements. The DEA said, “it is following DOJ guidelines and policies.”

The Hill Air Force Base north of Layton said, “Our leadership has chosen not to comment at this time, mainly because it will not be a base level directive but will come from higher headquarters.”

If the vaccine becomes mandatory for civilian federal employees, that equates to about 17,000 at Hill Air Force Base.

It is the biggest federal employer in the state. 

President Biden said something has to be done to get to herd immunity quicker.

“The pandemic we have now is the pandemic of the unvaccinated, so please please please please if you are unvaccinated protect yourself and the children out there,” said Biden. “It is important.”

US Senator Mitt Romney also weighed in on the issue.

“These things are a tough call; it is such a difficult decision,” said Romney. “When it came to getting my teeth fixed, I went to a dentist. When it came to getting cancer removed from my body, I went to a surgeon. When it comes to public health matters, I go to those that study this that are experts at it.”

The local VA also says it’s taking all necessary steps to protect the veterans it serves.

At the start of this week, the VA mandated Covid-19 vaccines among its medical employees and staff.

According to the Office of Personnel Management, more than 2 million people work as federal employees throughout the United States.

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