An effort by the Biden administration to combat the highly contagious Delta variant sweeping across the country.
- In a letter to the U.S military, the Defense Secretary said he would seek a presidential waiver of a requirement that vaccines mandated by the Pentagon have the full approval of the Food and Drug Administration, unless the agency grants that approval first. President Biden, in a separate statement, expressed his “strong support for the move.”
- “Getting vaccinated against Covid-19 is a key force protection and readiness issue,” Army Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote at the bottom of the memo announcing the new rules.
- The Pentagon push represents the latest effort by the Biden administration to employ more assertive measures to encourage vaccination, at least among those employed by the government. Mr. Biden last month said federal employees and on-site contractors must get vaccinated against Covid-19 or wear a mask on the job and submit to regular testing, and he called on state and local governments to make $100 payments to newly vaccinated Americans.