Biden and Top Execs Meet to Discuss Vaccine Mandate

The president heard from Disney, Walgreens, others on the administration’s sweeping requirements.

September 16, 2021

Coronavirus Vaccines in Bottles

WASHINGTON—President Biden held a meeting with top executives yesterday at the White House to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine mandate he announced to the country last week, reports the Wall Street Journal. Companies represented at the meeting included Disney, Microsoft, Columbia Sportswear and Walgreens Boots Alliance.

The meeting’s intention was to discuss how the companies are expanding the vaccination mandates across their businesses, and how those mandates have increased the rate of vaccinations.

“Vaccinations mean fewer infections, hospitalizations and deaths, and in turn it means a stronger economy,” Biden said in a public statement at the beginning of the meeting. “I look forward to working together to beat this pandemic to keep our economy growing and growing strong.”

Columbia Sportswear CEO Tim Boyle told the Wall Street Journal that the company has been encouraging its workers to get vaccinated but was concerned that employees would quit if they implemented tougher vaccination requirements. Boyle said that the company plans to implement a mandatory vaccination policy following the president’s announcement last week, and that the administration’s requirements will create a level playing field among companies who hire in the same employee pool.

Other companies represented at the meeting included Kaiser Permanente, Louisiana State University, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Business Roundtable and Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream.

The meeting comes a week after President Biden announced a sweeping vaccine mandate for federal employees and contractors, plus companies with more than 100 employees as part of a White House action plan to address the latest rise in COVID-19 cases in the United States. Here are five ways companies can prepare for the workplace vaccine mandate.

Republican governors have pushed back against the vaccine mandate. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed a lawsuit against the requirements for businesses with more than 100 employees, arguing they are unconstitutional. The Consumer Brands Association wrote a letter to the Biden Administration asking for “immediate clarity” on the requirements.

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