This is VOA News. Reporting by remote, I'm David Byrd.
President Joe Biden is ordering tough new vaccination rules for federal workers as the delta variant continues sweeping across the United States. AP's Sagar Meghani reports.
In a somber address, the president lamented that effective vaccines are available to all Americans, yet people continue dying from COVID-19.
"This is an American tragedy."
In a bid to boost flagging vaccination rates, the president will require federal workers to attest that they've been vaccinated or face mandatory masking, testing and other rules. He's also asking the Pentagon to look at adding the COVID shots do vaccines troops are required to get and he's urging state and local governments to offer $100 to people who get shots.
"With incentives and mandates, we can make a huge difference and save a lot of lives."
Sagar Meghani, Washington.
The city of Washington D.C. will require masks indoors for everyone older than two years old beginning Saturday because of an increase in coronavirus infections. Mayor Muriel Bowser made the announcement Thursday at a news conference.
"Beginning this Saturday at 5 a.m., I will issue by mayor's order the directive that people over the age of 2 must wear a mask indoors, regardless of their vaccination status."
The mayor said that in the month of July, the city has seen a fivefold increase in the daily case rate. People may remove masks while eating or drinking inside restaurants but, otherwise, will be required to wear them. Outdoor venues, such as park in sports stadiums, are exempt from the order but health officials are recommending people wear masks when attending large events.
This is VOA News.