White House encouraging state, local COVID-19 vaccine mandates

The Biden administration is advocating for state and local leaders to enact COVID-19 vaccine mandates, White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Tuesday.

“We’re encouraging everyone … from the private and public sector to take actions to require vaccination,” she said, when asked if the White House was encouraging states to enact their own vaccine mandates.

President Joe Biden last week introduced a federal vaccine mandate aimed at employees of big companies and all federal workers and contractors.

The mandate faces legal political and enforcement challenges.

Previous vaccine mandates in the United States have mostly been introduced by state and local governments, and related to public spaces and schools.

“Last week, as you know, we took big and strong actions as part of the tools that we have … to boost vaccinations from the federal government,” Jean-Pierre said.

“We certainly advocate for local leaders to do the same,”she said, calling the push to vaccinate Americans against the spread of the coronavirus “a wartime effort.”