President Biden Releases New Plan for COVID-19 Safety Guidelines


Courtesy of AP Images

President Joe Biden addresses a crowd at a press conference.

Lindsey Lankford, Staff Writer

Masking, vaccinating and social distancing requirements have been argued around the globe since the emergence of the COVID-19 virus.

President Joe Biden’s Sept. 9 press release, which revealed his new plans for COVID-19 safety guidelines, is garnering both strong support and harsh criticism.

This press release consisted of President Biden speaking about his six-point plan to “…reduce the number of unvaccinated Americans, decrease hospitalizations and deaths and allow our children to go to school safely and keep our economy strong by keeping businesses open.”

Although I agree with the premise of President Biden’s plan, I think there should be modifications made to the vaccination mandate. 

The first part of President Biden’s plan consists of increased vaccinations among two groups of the unvaccinated: federal employees and employees of businesses with 100 or more workers.

The vaccine should be given to all individuals who can safely receive it, however, only the Pfizer vaccine should be mandated.

As of now, the Pfizer vaccine is the only COVID-19 vaccine that has been approved by the FDA. Having approval from the FDA makes the Pfizer vaccine the most reliable COVID-19 vaccine available. Those opposed to receiving the vaccine may not resist the mandate if the vaccine they are getting is FDA certified.

I do not think that other COVID-19 vaccines are unsafe; the Pfizer vaccine is the safest and most reliable option at this time, with the most data supporting its effectiveness.

Now that Pfizer has been approved by the FDA, I do not think it is any different than the vaccines required for school attendance.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), vaccinations for tetanus, polio, measles, rubella, mumps, HIb, PCV, Hepatitis B, varicella and MCV4 are required to enter school.

Many of the diseases that we are vaccinated against are no longer a critical problem because their transmission was slowed, and sometimes stopped, by vaccinations. 

The other aspect of President Biden’s speech that I found notable was his statement: “This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

Regardless of intent, this statement is improperly worded, a gross generalization and, not to mention, factually incorrect.

Even those who are vaccinated against COVID-19 can contract and spread the virus. This occurs at a substantially lower rate, but it happens nonetheless.

This fact, though disproving President Biden’s statement, also gives another reason why people should be vaccinated.

Those who are vaccinated are less likely to contract COVID-19. If they do test positive, they are likely to become severely ill and require hospitalization.

According to the CDC, hospitalization rates in the United States have increased from around 2,500 admissions each day in mid-July to over 10,000 admissions each day in mid-September.

A decrease in hospitalizations will benefit the economy. Individuals who are exposed to COVID-19 are less likely to catch the virus if they are vaccinated, meaning they will remain working.

If a vaccinated individual catches COVID-19, their symptoms will likely be mild, allowing them to return to work after the standard quarantine period

Limiting the amount of time workers have to spend away from their job will help the economy to recover from any damage done during the pandemic.

This is a pandemic of the world. You should be vaccinated not so the pandemic ends tomorrow, but so it does not last for years to come, devastating lives as it continues to spread and mutate.