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President Biden's delivers remarks on the Afghanistan war.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) – Joe Biden tonight announced a series of sweeping COVID-19 vaccine requirements, impacting more than 100 million Americans, including tens of millions of workers in the private sector.

Biden unveiled several new executive orders and other directives aimed at “increasing the share of the workforce that is vaccinated in businesses all across America” during a speech at the White House on Thursday.

In an unprecedented move and a stark reversal of his previous stance on mandatory vaccination, Biden said that the federal government will seek to impose vaccine requirements for all U.S. businesses with more than 100 employees.

“Tonight, I’m 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 or show a negative test at least once a week,” he said.

“This is not about freedom or personal choice,” Biden added. “This is about protecting yourself and those around you.”

The rule will take effect in the coming weeks, and violations could lead to $14,000 in fines per violation, according to a senior Biden administration official cited by the Washington Post.

Biden additionally revealed that he has signed executive orders enacting strict vaccine mandates for all federal workers and contractors. The orders, which remove testing options included in earlier mandates, apply to 2.1 million government employees and millions of private sector employees with contractors who work with the government. Federal employees risk losing their jobs if they choose to remain unvaccinated through November.

The Biden administration will also require COVID-19 vaccination, with no testing option, for around 17 million healthcare workers at medical facilities across the countries that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding, Biden said. 300,000 teachers participating in the government’s Head Start program must get “fully vaccinated,” as well.

“If you want to work with the federal government and do business with us, get vaccinated. If you want to do business with the federal government, vaccinate your workforce,” he warned.

“In total, the vaccine requirements in my plan will affect about 100 million Americans, two-thirds of all workers,” he said. “The bottom line: We’re going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated co-workers. We’re going to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by increasing the share of the workforce that is vaccinated in businesses all across America.”

COVID-19 vaccines are notably failing to prevent transmission, hospitalizations, and deaths, however, with COVID-19 death rates of vaccinated Americans skyrocketing in recent months, as in Israel and the U.K.

Before taking office, Biden claimed last December that he would not seek to make the COVID-19 vaccine compulsory, saying at the time: “I don’t think it should be mandatory, I wouldn’t demand it to be mandatory.” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki likewise stressed in July that vaccination requirements are “not the role of the federal government.”

In his remarks on Thursday, Biden also pushed governors to mandate COVID vaccines for teachers and urged large entertainment venues to start requiring vaccination status for entry if they have not begun doing so already.

“Tonight I’m calling on all governors to require vaccinations for all teachers and staff,” Biden said, threatening to push governors “out of the way” if they do not support COVID-19 mandates. “If these governors won’t help us beat the pandemic I’ll use my power as president to get them out of the way,” he said.

The new vaccine rules from the Biden administration have already sparked intense backlash from businesses and Republican officials.

“Biden’s vaccine mandate is an assault on private businesses,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted Thursday. “Texas is already working to halt this power grab.” Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts made a similar announcement.

“Florida MUST call a special session to nullify Biden‘s vaccine mandates,” Republican Florida state Rep. Anthony Sabatini also tweeted. “Any federal official attempting to impose them should be arrested on the spot and prosecuted under Florida law.”

“The Daily Wire has well over 100 employees,” Daily Wire chief operating officer Jeremy Boreing said. “We will not enforce Joe Biden’s unconstitutional and tyrannical vaccine mandate. We will use every tool at our disposal, including legal action, to resist this overreach.”

Biden’s legally dubious COVID-19 steps come as his administration tries to grapple with the historically disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal and cratering poll numbers. Recent polling shows Biden’s approval rating down to just over one-third of Americans, while less than half now approve of his handling of coronavirus.

The embattled commander-in-chief repeatedly denigrated and appeared to scapegoat unvaccinated Americans on Thursday, telling them that “your refusal has cost all of us.” “A distinct minority of Americans, supported by a distinct minority of elected officials, are keeping us from turning the corner,” he claimed, regardless of the failing efficacy of the vaccines.