HONOLULU (KHON) — President Biden on Thursday announced a new COVID vaccine mandate for federal workers, federal contractors, large employers, and some healthcare workers. 

“I am announcing that the Department of Labor is developing an emergency rule to require all employers with 100 or more employees, that together employ over 80 million workers, to ensure their workforces are fully vaccinated,” said Biden. 

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Biden said this new mandate is to combat the surge in coronavirus cases, but how will it be enforced? 

He said the Department of Labor will start requiring all businesses with 100 or more employees to require their workers to be vaccinated or get tested once a week. 

“We are going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated coworkers. We are going to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by increasing the share of the workforce that is vaccinated in businesses all across America,” said Biden. 

Biden also announced he will be imposing the new mandate on the 17 million healthcare workers in hospitals that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding. 

“We cannot allow these actions to stand in the way of protecting the large majority of Americans who have done their part to get back to normal,” said Biden. 

Biden said if a company does not comply, they could face hefty fines. He also said around 80 million Americans who can get vaccinated are not, and he is hoping this order will boost vaccination rates to stop the surge of hospitalizations amongst the unvaccinated. 

“We remain in a critical moment, a critical time. We have the tools now. We just have to finish the job with truth with science, with confidence, and together as one nation,” said Biden. 

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