A group of 200-plus CEOs from companies like Amazon, Walmart, and Home Depot says it ‘welcomes’ Biden’s vax-or-test mandate

Walmart president and CEO Doug McMillon
Walmart president and CEO Doug McMillon Rick T. Wilking/Getty Images
  • Business Roundtable said it “welcomes” Biden’s plan requiring companies to mandate vaccines or weekly testing.
  • The group represents executives from Walmart, Amazon, Apple, Google, Home Depot, and more.
  • On Thursday, the group said it “applauds” companies that have already implemented vaccine mandates.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Business Roundtable, a lobbyist group whose members include chief executives from companies like Amazon, Walmart, Apple, Google, and Home Depot, said in a statement Thursday that it supports Biden’s plan requiring companies with over 100 workers to mandate vaccines or weekly tests.

“Business Roundtable welcomes the Biden Administration’s continued vigilance in the fight against COVID,” Joshua Bolten, the group’s president, said. “America’s business leaders know how critical vaccination and testing are in defeating the pandemic.”

“Over the past several weeks many companies have decided to implement a vaccine mandate for some or all of their employees, a decision we applaud,” he added.

The group represents over 200 chief executives from the nation’s most powerful companies that “represent every sector of the economy.” According to the Business Roundtable website, members advocate “for policy solutions that foster U.S. economic growth and competitiveness.”

Some CEOs were originally hesitant to require all employees to receive the vaccine, fearing that a mandate would cause workers to quit – something most companies could not afford amid the national labor shortage.

Home Depot, whose CEO is a member of Business Roundtable, was one company that “urged” employees to receive the vaccine but didn’t go as far as requiring it.

United Airlines, Disney, Tyson Foods, Facebook, and Google are among the firms that had already required in-person employees to be vaccinated previous to Biden’s announcement.

The president’s six-pronged COVID-19 action plan announced Thursday aims to counteract the Delta variant’s threat in the US.

The variant accounts for more than 90% of COVID-19 cases in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Insider’s Azmi Haroun and Aria Bendix reported.

Though daily cases have begun to decline slightly, they still hover around 136,000 a day on average. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s chief medical advisor, told Axios that daily cases should ideally be below 10,000 for the coronavirus to no longer pose a public-health threat.

“Business Roundtable looks forward to continue working with the Administration and leaders across all levels of government to defeat the pandemic,” Bolten said.