Biden meets with execs from Disney, Microsoft, Walgreens on vaccine mandates

President Joe Biden on Wednesday met with executives from big companies and other organizations, as he worked to build support for the COVID-19 vaccine mandates that he announced last week.

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Biden praised the CEOs and other execs for leading the way on vaccine requirements in brief remarks as the meeting kicked off.

“I look forward to working together to beat this pandemic and keep our economy growing, and growing strong,” he said.

The following executives had been expected to take part in the meeting, according to a White House official:

  • Walt Disney CEO Bob Chapek
  • Microsoft President Brad Smith
  • Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO Roz Brewer
  • Tim Boyle, president and CEO of Columbia Sportswear
  • Josh Bolten, president and CEO of Business Roundtable, a lobbying group for large companies
  • Greg Adams, chair and CEO of Kaiser Permanente, the health insurer
  • Madeline Bell, president and CEO of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Molly Moon Neitzel, founder and CEO of Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream, a small business based in the Seattle area
  • William Tate IV, president of Louisiana State University

The meeting was meant to serve as a rallying cry for more businesses to institute vaccine requirements, according to the White House official.

The official said such requirements are good for the economy and they work, as they get more people vaccinated and accelerate the path out of the pandemic.

Last week, Biden mandated COVID vaccines for executive-branch employees as well as federal contractors, and he discussed an emergency rule that his administration is developing under which all employers with 100 or more workers would require vaccinations or weekly tests.

Related: Here is a list of U.S. companies that are mandating at least some of their workforce get vaccinated against COVID-19

U.S. stocks were gaining, helped by positive economic data, even as investors remain fixated on next week’s Federal Reserve meeting.

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