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Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden on Tuesday said that requiring the federal workforce to get vaccinated against the coronavirus is "under consideration."

Why it matters: Biden's statements followed a change in policy from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommending that vaccinated people wear masks indoors as the Delta variant continues to drive up case rates across the country.

  • The Department of Veterans Affairs became the first federal agency to require its workers to receive the vaccine. The White House was reportedly aware of this decision.

What they're saying: “That’s under consideration right now,” Biden said, responding to a question about making vaccines mandatory for the federal workforce. “But if you’re not vaccinated, you’re not nearly as smart as I thought you were,” he added.

Go deeper

Oct 11, 2021 - Health

New Zealand announces vaccine mandates for health and education workers

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern during a news conference at Parliament in Wellington, New Zealand, on Monday. Photo: Robert Kitchin - Pool/Getty Images

New Zealand officials announced Monday that COVID-19 vaccines would soon be mandatory for most workers in the education and health sectors.

Why it matters: The country is battling an outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant, with Auckland the epicenter. NZ's most populous city has been under lockdown restrictions since August.

Oct 12, 2021 - Health

Judge rules New York must allow religious exemptions in health care worker vaccine mandate

Health care workers protest against being forced to get the COVID-19 vaccine outside the New York State Office Building in Hauppauge, New York. Photo: Alejandra Villa Loarca/Newsday RM via Getty Images

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that New York state must allow for religious exemptions in its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers.

Why it matters: The move is a new obstacle in the course of Gov. Kathy M. Hochul’s effort to require inoculation for all health care workers.

Axios-Ipsos poll: Biden is losing COVID trust

Expand chart
Data: Axios/Ipsos Poll; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Americans' trust in President Biden has eroded as they've slowed their expectations for how quickly they can get back to their pre-pandemic lives, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: Two trends we've been watching for a while — drawn-out timelines for returning to normal, and declining trust — are not a coincidence but cause-and-effect, these findings suggest. That's hurting Biden with Democrats as well as independents.

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