Despite President Biden’s new vaccine mandates for approximately two-thirds of U.S. workers, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki clarified on Friday, Sept. 10, that the government does not require COVID-19 shots for people who illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border.
“That’s correct,” Psaki told Fox News reporter Peter Doocy.
Psaki dismissed a question from Doocy on why American businesses with 100 or more employees are forced to vaccinate their employees, while migrants at the southern border are not, New York Post reported.
“Our objective is to get as many people vaccinated as humanly possible,” Psaki answered Doocy when asked why illegal immigrants are not being vaccinated when it’s a requirement for American workers. “The president’s announcement yesterday was an effort to empower businesses to give businesses the tools to protect their workforces. That’s exactly what we did.”
The vaccine mandates announced by Biden on Thursday will affect approximately 100 million Americans, and most federal employees and contractors must get vaccinated if they don’t qualify for religious or medical exemptions. In addition, a new Labor Department rule will require companies and organizations with 100 or more employees to either follow the vaccine mandate or subject staff to weekly testing.
Psaki said businesses could face fines of up to $13,600 per violation. Businesses should choose the “more cost-effective” option of requiring workers to be vaccinated rather than paying for weekly testing.
She ignored a reporter’s question about whether the rule would worsen many businesses’ already-existing problems to hire low-wage workers. The increased federal pandemic unemployment benefits that ended this week were generally blamed for the shortage of available workers while those payments were being made.
“I understand you may be asking me about smaller businesses, but it’s for employees of 100 and more,” Psaki said.