Ahead of President Joe Biden’s Thursday announcement of a vaccine requirement for federal workers, White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre likened the mandate to the company-wide policy recently implemented at one of the administration’s chief critics: Fox News.
During Thursday’s White House press briefing, Jean-Pierre was immediately pressed by reporters about how exactly Biden’s upcoming mandate would work, specifically if there would be disciplinary action for workers who don’t get vaccinated and whether the federal government would collect proof of vaccination.
While Jean-Pierre noted that the official guidance hadn’t yet been made public, and therefore she didn’t want to get ahead of the president, she did note that the administration would rely on workers to self-attest their vaccine status in order to avoid more stringent COVID-19 guidelines. In essence, an employee would either have to provide proof of vaccination or be subjected to regular coronavirus testing and mandatory mask-wearing, among other restrictions.
“It also is not dissimilar to some of the protocols that you all have put in place in some of the new newsrooms that you work in, including Fox, Peter,” she said, addressing Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy. “Who to my understanding is asking for self-attestation to ensure a safe and healthy workplace.”
Indeed, while Fox News hosts and pundits have railed against mandatory vaccinations and so-called “vaccine passports” despite surging hospitalizations and cases among the unvaccinated, the network's parent company, Fox Corp., quietly implemented its own vaccine passport system last month for its employees.
The system, known internally as “FOX Clear Pass,” allows fully vaccinated employees to self-report their vaccine status in order to bypass daily health screenings and forgo face masks and social distancing in the office.
“So, this is not an unusual matter,” Jean-Pierre concluded.