Biden Set to Visit Chicago Next Week, ‘Highlight' Vaccine Mandates

President Joe Biden is expected to visit Chicago next week to “highlight the importance of COVID-19 vaccine requirements for businesses,” the White House confirmed Thursday. Biden’s visit is slated to take place on Wednesday. The Chicago Sun-Times reports the visit will spotlight a Chicago business enforcing a vaccine mandate. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker have both praised area businesses requiring vaccinations for customers in both the city and state, though they have stopped short of issuing mandates citywide or statewide. Certain groups are required to get vaccinated in the state, however, including health care workers, teachers and higher education students. “I applaud those venues requiring vaccination proof or a negative test to get admittance,” Lightfoot said earlier this month. “I think we’ll see more of that. This is a conversation happening across every industry sector, and we support it.” New York City, San Francisco and New Orleans are among the cities that have started requiring proof of vaccination for public indoor spaces. Biden earlier this month unveiled a so-called “action plan” aimed at confronting the COVID-19 surge being driven by the spread of the delta variant, which will require vaccinations for millions of workers across the country. The expansive rules mandate that all employers with more than 100 workers require them to be vaccinated or test for the virus weekly, affecting about 80 million Americans. And the roughly 17 million workers at health facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid also will have to be fully vaccinated. Biden is also requiring vaccination for employees of the executive branch and contractors who do business with the federal government — with no option to test out. That covers several million more workers.

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