Joe Biden really wants Americans to get vaccinated, and after rolling out all the stops, from free beer to free Uber rides to child care, the administration has plans to penalize those that either won’t get the shot or don’t feel obligated to prove to the government or businesses that they’ve gotten the shot.
The administration may consider creating vaccine requirements for interstate travel for citizens within the US.
The AP reports that “…while more severe measures — such as mandating vaccines for interstate travel or changing how the federal government reimburses treatment for those who are unvaccinated and become ill with COVID-19 — have been discussed, the administration worried that they would be too polarizing for the moment.”
“That’s not to say they won’t be implemented in the future,” the AP writes, “as public opinion continues to shift toward requiring vaccinations as a means to restore normalcy.”
The Biden administration has forced many federal employees to vaccinate, and has urged US businesses to force their employees to get vaccinated as well, under penalty of losing their position or persistent COVID testing.
“We are essentially saying there are different paths you can take, but the path that you cannot take is doing nothing—that’s the one unacceptable position right now,” said deputy director of strategic communication and engagement for Biden’s COVID-19 response team Ben Wakana.
Georgetown Law took up the question of Americans’ rights to travel freely within the United States under the Trump administration at the start of the pandemic. At the time, Americans in many parts of the country were asked to “lockdown” for two week and to “slow the spread” so that when Americans got sick and ended up in the hospital, they didn’t all end up there at once, overwhelming the medical infrastructure.