Joe Biden institutes new vaccine mandate, WHO continues to recommend the wearing of masks


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Everyone who receives the vaccine is given proof of vaccination. Those who get the COVID-19 vaccine do not have to be tested weekly.

On Sept. 9, President Joe Biden announced a new vaccine mandate. Everyone who works for a company with over 100 employees is required to be vaccinated, or tested weekly for COVID-19. The mandate also directs that all federal employees and health care providers receive the vaccination, with no option to be regularly tested instead. 

The call to increase vaccination rates is causing the nation to split in half. Some are relieved that the president is finally implementing stricter requirements, while others believe it is unconstitutional to require the American people to get vaccinated. Many Republican governors have stated that they will take the president to court on the issue of constitutionality. They argue that the president does not have the constitutional authority to require people to get the vaccine. On the other hand, several business owners have said the requirements are a relief because employees can’t be upset with them since it is a federal mandate. 

St. Edward’s student, Fernanda Pombo, has a younger brother who is too young to receive the vaccine. She recently saw an unmasked woman standing next to her. “Can you scooch back a little bit?” she asked. The woman was aggravated and asked her why, but after explaining, she understood and moved. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends fully vaccinated people continue to wear masks. With the spread of the delta variant, it is not safe to assume you’re immune, even if you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, those who fail to wear masks place children under the age of 12 at a higher risk of contracting the virus and suffering its full effects. 

Pombo is very cautious around those who don’t wear masks in public, because COVID-19 cases have steadily increased since state officials banned mask mandates. “In stores, not many people wear masks; they should, even if they are vaccinated,” Pombo said. 

The new requirements will likely affect Pombo in positive and negative ways; though she is hopeful that drastic measures from the federal government will help combat relaxed state regulations. 

“I think it’s a little late and he [Biden] could have done it sooner,” Pombo said. “Hopefully people can see what Covid has done. People aren’t taking care of themselves very well and partying, then getting mad at each other when everyone gets sick.”