President Joe Biden says company mandates helping COVID-19 vaccination rates

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President Joe Biden meets with business leaders and CEOs on the COVID-19 response on Wednesday. Photo by Oliver Contreras/UPI

President Joe Biden meets with business leaders and CEOs on the COVID-19 response on Wednesday. Photo by Oliver Contreras/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 15 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden praised businesses that are mandating their employees get vaccinated against COVID-19, saying the requirements are helping to improve the country's vaccination rate.

He made the comments Wednesday during a roundtable with business leaders at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients also were in attendance.

"Vaccinations mean fewer infections, hospitalizations and deaths, and in turn, it means a stronger economy," Biden said. "I think everyone should join me today and I look forward to working together, to beating this pandemic to keep our economy growing and growing and growing strong."

Last week, the Biden administration announced a new vaccine mandate for federal employees and directed the Labor Department to work on guidance requiring all businesses with at least 100 employees to implement mandates.

Biden said Wednesday it will "take a little while" for that new guidance to become official.

Among the business leaders participating in the roundtable were representatives from Disney, Microsoft, Walgreens, Columbia sportswear and Kaiser Permanente Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

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