(The Center Square) – President Joe Biden invited business leaders to the White House Wednesday to pitch them on vaccine requirements after his announcement of a federal vaccine mandate that will affect 100 million Americans.
The meeting comes after the Buffalo Bills, one of New York’s National Football League teams, announced game attendees would have to show proof they received the vaccine. With renewed pressure from Biden on business leaders and venue owners, they may not be the last.
“Prior to entering Highmark Stadium, guests will be asked to present proof of vaccination to Stadium staff,” the team said. “Proof of vaccination will be checked prior to scanning your ticket. There are no exceptions.”
Biden called on venues like sports stadiums to require vaccines or testing in his six-pronged COVID-19 plan released last week. The plan also requires that all businesses with at least 100 employees ensure their workers are vaccinated or be tested weekly.
“The President’s plan calls on entertainment venues like sports arenas, large concert halls, and other venues where large groups of people gather to require that their patrons be vaccinated or show a negative test for entry,” the White House said.
More than two dozen governors have said they will fight Biden’s mandate, and latest polling suggests the majority of Americans are on their side.
Convention of States Action released new polling this week that reported 58.6% of those surveyed “do not believe President Biden has the constitutional authority to force private businesses to require vaccine mandates for employees."
The Bills are the fourth team to require fans to be vaccinated before showing up to games. The others so far are the Las Vegas Raiders, the New Orleans Saints and the Seattle Seahawks. The Raiders announced last month that fans attending games must provide proof of vaccination.
"Health and safety has always been our number one priority," Raiders owner Mark Davis said at the time of the announcement. "After consultation with Governor [Steve] Sisolak and other community leaders, this policy ensures that we will be able to operate at full capacity without masks for fully vaccinated fans for the entire season."
The White House expects other businesses to follow suit, hoping that Biden’s vaccine mandate for larger companies will lead to a ripple effect to normalize it for other employers.
“The President’s plan will reduce the number of unvaccinated Americans by using regulatory powers and other actions to substantially increase the number of Americans covered by vaccination requirements – these requirements will become dominant in the workplace,” the White House said. “In addition, the plan will provide paid time off for vaccination for most workers in the country.”