Key trade group has questions about Biden vaccine mandate

The Consumer Brands Association, a trade group representing packaged goods companies such as Coca-Cola and General Mills, asked President BidenJoe BidenSocial media making political polarization worse: report Biden and UK’s Johnson to meet for talks this month: report Toyota, Honda knock union-made EV incentive in Dems’ spending package MORE to clarify details of his new COVID-19 vaccine requirement in a letter Monday. 

The business group sent the White House a lengthy list of questions, inquiring about how businesses will verify proof of vaccination, the consequences of falsifying vaccination status, whether workers or employers must pay for COVID-19 testing and when the new rules will go into effect, among other issues.

Geoff Freeman, Consumer Brands president and CEO, wrote that the group’s member companies flooded his inbox with more than 50 unique questions about the requirement that need “immediate clarification.” 

“Federal agencies must move quickly, anticipate challenges, promptly answer questions and partner with the private sector if we are to realize successful implementation of the administration’s COVID-19 Action Plan and achieve our shared goal of increased vaccination rates,” Freeman wrote.

Last week, Biden announced that all private employers with 100 or more employees must mandate vaccinations or weekly testing. The requirement will affect around 80 million workers, and businesses that fail to comply could face fines up to $14,000 per violation.

Business groups don’t oppose the new rules, stating that they support Biden’s goal of boosting vaccinations against COVID-19. But they have expressed concerns about the cost and enforcement of the mandate. 

“It is important that undue compliance costs do not burden manufacturers, large and small alike,” National Association of Manufacturers President Jay Timmons said in a statement Thursday.

Some of the nation’s largest employers, including United Airlines, Tyson Foods, CVS Health and Microsoft, have already announced that they will require their employees to get vaccinated.


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