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President Biden Visits Elk Grove Village To Promote Business Vaccine Mandates

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Il. (CBS) — President Joe Biden visited northwest suburban Elk Grove Village on Thursday, touring a local company to highlight the importance of COVID vaccine requirements.

CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov reports business vaccine mandates have become a priority for the president, even though he said such requirements weren't his first instinct when he took office.

"There is no other way to beat the pandemic than to get the vast majority of the American people vaccinated," Biden said. "While I didn't race to do it right away, that's why I've had to move toward requirements."

Biden spoke for 23 minutes to workers here at Clayco, an Elk Grove Village construction firm, and to 11 members of Illinois' congressional delegation -- all Democrats -- delivering a simple message: vaccines work.

"We have a plan. We have the tools. We're using them, and we're making progress. We just have to finish the job – finish the job. So, for God's sake, for your own sake, for the sake of your families, get vaccinated," Biden said.

He picked Clayco, because the company is requiring its employees to get the COVID vaccine or test weekly, something the president supports.

"Look, I know that vaccination requirements are a tough medicine — unpopular to some, politics for others — but they're lifesaving, they're game-changing for our country," Biden said.

Before his speech, he toured an under-construction data center alongside Gov. JB Pritzker, who also spoke in favor of a vaccine requirement.

Biden said such requirements are nothing new, and is puzzled that this has become so politicized.

"I don't quite get this, why it's a matter of no violation of your right to go to school or get a job, etc. But now, it's a great cause. So today I'm calling on more employers to act," he said.

Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot also joined the president during his visit.

The U.S. Department of Labor is preparing to issue a rule, at the president's directive, requiring vaccines or weekly testing at companies with more than 100 employees.

"Here's the deal: These requirements are already proving that they work," Biden said.

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