Biden to Announce Even More COVID-19 Measures This Week: Surgeon General

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President Joe Biden will announce more COVID-19 measures before the U.N. General Assembly meets this week, according to U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy.

Speaking to CNN on Sept. 12, Murthy didn’t say what new measures would be announced by Biden.

The president issued several executive orders on Sept. 9 mandating that federal contractors, federal workers, and most health care staff in the United States get the COVID-19 vaccine. A White House plan also stated that he would direct the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, to mandate that employers with 100 or more workers either get the vaccine, require weekly COVID-19 testing, or receive a fine.

Biden’s announcement on the mandate, which will affect an estimated 80 million private-sector employees, drew significant criticism from Republican governors and some business leaders. It’s likely that numerous lawsuits will be filed against the order.

But during the CNN interview, Murthy defended the president’s announcement and mandate.

“There will be more actions that we continue to work on, especially in the global front,” he said.

The next session for the U.N. General Assembly starts Sept. 14 in New York, and the first day of general debate begins the following week. It’s not clear why Murthy tied new COVID-19 measures with the U.N. meeting.

“What the president and what all of us have said as public health leaders from the earliest part of this pandemic is that we have to use every level of government, and we all in the private sector have to do everything we can to tackle this virus,” Murthy said. “The requirements the president announced are an example of that.”

In a separate interview with ABC News, Murthy again defended the mandates, saying that when private companies such as Tyson Foods made vaccines a requirement, it increased the U.S. vaccination rate.

“We know that these kinds of requirements actually work to improve our vaccination rates,” Murthy said. 

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