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Here are the companies mandating vaccines for all or some employees

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As the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus continues to strike communities nationwide, companies are stepping up their vaccine requirements, mandating that some or all employees get vaccinated or provide proof of vaccination.

After the Food and Drug Administration granted full approval to Pfizer’s Covid vaccine on Monday, more companies are expected to mandate that employees be vaccinated.

Here is a list of the companies who have already announced their vaccination plans:

Amtrak

The railroad service is requiring all of its 17,500 employees to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1 or submit to weekly Covid testing, CEO Bill Flynn wrote in a note to employees. Starting Oct. 4, all new hires will also be required to get vaccinated against the virus. “COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and lifesaving,” Flynn wrote. “They are proving effective against the current surge of variants, especially at preventing severe disease, hospitalization and death. Vaccines are a critical tool to bring the pandemic under control.”

Anthem

Employees must be fully vaccinated to enter offices that are open, including the health care insurance company’s headquarters in Indianapolis and its office in Atlanta, according to Anthem spokesperson Michelle Vanstory.

BlackRock

Since July 1, only vaccinated employees and visitors to the investment giant have been allowed to return to the office, according to a company memo obtained by NBC News. All U.S.-based employees, regardless of any plans to voluntarily return, were required to report their vaccination status by June 30.

Cisco

The tech and telecoms conglomerate is only allowing vaccinated “critical workers” to come in to the office, and is pursuing a fully hybrid approach. “Whether that means you work five days a week at home and gather with your team for activities and connection every once in a while, or you are in the office five days a week … every Cisco employee will be hybrid,” Francine Katsoudas, executive vice president and chief people, policy and purpose officer, wrote in a memo to employees last week.

Citigroup

Citing the delta variant, the bank announced on Aug. 11 that employees will need to get vaccinated before returning to its offices, according to a LinkedIn post from Sara Wechter, the bank’s head of human resources.

Employees at offices in the New York area, Chicago, Boston, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, “will be expected to return at least two days a week and vaccination is required” starting Sept. 13, Wechter said.

CVS Health

CVS said Aug. 23 it is requiring patient-facing and corporate employees to get their shot by Oct. 31, and new hires by Sept. 15. Although the health care giant is asking its pharmacists in retail stores to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 30, it did not mention the same for retail associates, adding that “Other roles at CVS Health are under review and may be added based on updated data and public health guidance.”

Deloitte

The professional services firm is requiring employees who enter its facilities to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 11.

Delta Air Lines

The airline announced in May it would be requiring all new U.S. hires to be vaccinated against the coronavirus effective May 17. “This is an important move to protect Delta’s people and customers, ensuring the airline can safely operate as demand returns and as it accelerates through recovery and into the future,” the company wrote, adding that it would not be “putting in place a company-wide mandate to require current employees to be vaccinated.”

DoorDash

Although the food delivery service’s corporate employees are not required to come back in to the office until January, those who voluntarily do so before then must show proof of vaccination, the company said.

Equinox

SoulCycle-owner and luxury fitness company Equinox announced Aug. 2 it will begin requiring members, riders and employees to provide a one-time proof of vaccination to enter its facilities and offices starting in New York City in September. “We have a responsibility to take bold action and respond to changing circumstances with urgency. We encourage other leading brands to join us in this effort to best protect our communities,” said Equinox Group Executive Chairman Harvey Spevak in a press release.

Facebook

The social media giant announced Aug. 12 it is pushing back its return to the office until January 2022, citing ongoing concerns with the delta variant.

“Data, not dates, is what drives our approach for returning to the office,” the company said in a statement. “Given the recent health data showing rising Covid cases based on the delta variant, our teams in the U.S. will not be required to go back to the office until January 2022. We expect this to be the case for some countries outside of the US, as well.”

“As our offices reopen, we will be requiring anyone coming to work at any of our U.S. campuses to be vaccinated,” said Lori Goler, vice president, people, in an emailed statement to NBC News last week, prior to Thursday’s announcement. “How we implement this policy will depend on local conditions and regulations. We will have a process for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical or other reasons and will be evaluating our approach in other regions as the situation evolves.”

Ford

Car manufacturing titan Ford is requiring employees who partake in international business travel to be vaccinated, the company said in an emailed statement. It also said it is continuing “to strongly encourage all team members who are medically able to be vaccinated.”

The United Auto Workers labor union said Aug. 3 it would be reinstating a mask mandate at all of its facilities nationwide.

Goldman Sachs

Starting Sept. 7, the investment bank is requiring all individuals who enter its offices, including clients and visitors, to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. Fully vaccinated employees will also be required to wear masks in certain areas and undergo weekly testing. Employees who do not get their shot by the September deadline will be expected to continue working from home.

Google

On July 28, Google became the first major tech company to announce a vaccine mandate for its employees looking to return to the office later this fall. “Anyone coming to work on our campuses will need to be vaccinated. We’re rolling this policy out in the U.S. in the coming weeks and will expand to other regions in the coming months,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in a memo. Pichai also announced that the company is pushing its return-to-office date back to October.

Jefferies

Financial giant Jefferies will only allow vaccinated individuals into its offices and to outside company events, according to a memo from CEO Rich Handler and President Brian Friedman. “We require that, after Labor Day, anyone who is not fully vaccinated should continue to work from home, which fortunately has proven to be highly effective. We will closely monitor the situation and be ready to pivot and adapt whenever needed,” the two leaders wrote in their joint letter.

Lyft

Starting Aug. 2, corporate employees will be required to show proof of vaccination in order to enter offices, according to an internal note obtained by NBC News. “For those who choose to continue working from our offices — which will remain open — our current safety guidance remains in place, including our existing mask requirement and vaccine requirement going into effect August 2,” said CEO and co-founder Logan Green. Green also announced that the company is delaying its full return to the office by six months, until February.

MGM Resorts International

Hospitality chain MGM Resorts International asked salaried employees who are not exclusively working from home to get vaccinated by Oct. 15. All new hires who are not exclusively working from home must also get a shot, starting Aug. 30, according to an internal memo from CEO and president Bill Hornbuckle. Unvaccinated employees at the chain’s Las Vegas properties will continue to be subject to regular testing and required to pay either a $15 co-pay for on-site or obtain a test from elsewhere and report the results.

Microsoft

The tech company announced Aug. 3 it will require proof of vaccination for all employees, vendors and guests starting in September, adding that it is delaying the full opening for its U.S. offices from next month to Oct. 4. The company did not say in its emailed statement whether the new vaccination policy includes employees who have voluntarily been going into the office since the spring or those working at its retail stores.

Morgan Stanley

Only vaccinated employees are allowed in New York-area offices at this time.

NBCUniversal

NBCUniversal is requiring U.S.-based workers returning to the office later this fall to be fully vaccinated, executive vice president Adam Miller told employees in an email on Aug. 11. Employees will also be required to provide details about their vaccination status. Miller also announced that the company is pushing back its broader office reopening from Sept. 13 to Oct. 18.

Netflix

The streaming service will be requiring vaccinations for casts of all U.S. productions, as well as the individuals who work with them on set, the company confirmed to NBC News.

The New York Times

The New York Times Company CEO Meredith Kopit Levien told staff members via email that it will be requiring proof of vaccination for those who want to go into the office voluntarily. Levien also told employees that the publication would be pushing back its full office return from Sept. 7, without announcing a new set date.

Saks

The fashion company said it is asking employees to get the vaccine before returning to the office this fall. “If we’re asking people to come back, we have to make the environment as safe as we possibly can,” CEO Marc Metrick told The New York Times in May.

Salesforce

The customer-service software giant has only allowed vaccinated employees back to its offices as of May. All employees have the option to work from home until the end of the year.

TJX

The parent company of off-price retailers like HomeGoods, Marshalls and T.J. Maxx is requiring its U.S. “Home and Regional Office Associates” to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1 and “will provide accommodations for those who cannot get vaccinated due to qualified medical or religious reasons.” It is unclear whether the mandate includes employees at the company’s retail stores.

Twitter

The social media giant required employees to be vaccinated and show proof of vaccination before voluntarily returning to the company’s San Francisco and New York offices, both of which reclosed last week. In May 2020, Twitter said employees could work from home for as long as they want.

Tyson Foods

The meat and poultry producer announced on Aug. 3 that it is requiring its U.S. corporate workforce to be vaccinated by Oct. 1 and all other employees by Nov. 1, making it the largest U.S. food company to implement this kind of mandate. CEO Donnie King told employees that the company will also provide $200 to frontline team members who get the shot.

Uber

In an internal note obtained by NBC News, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told employees that starting Aug. 2, they will now be required to be fully vaccinated in order to return to the office. “If you are not vaccinated, you’ll need to work from home until you are fully vaccinated,” he wrote. Khosrowshahi also shared the company’s new return to office date: Oct. 25, 2021. “It’s important to say that this date is a global target, and local circumstances will continue to dictate when it makes sense to bring employees back in a given city,” he wrote.

Union Square Hospitality Group

Union Square Hospitality Group, which operates restaurants in New York City and Washington, D.C., will require vaccinations for staff members and guests. “Beginning the day after Labor Day, we are going to require that 100 percent of our staff members be vaccinated and that any guest who wants to dine indoors will be vaccinated as well,” founder and CEO Danny Meyer told NBC News.

United Airlines

The air carrier is requiring all U.S.-based employees to get vaccinated — and provide proof of their vaccination — either five weeks after federal approval or by Oct. 25, whichever comes first, the company announced in a note to employees on Aug. 6. United previously only required the shot for new hires and is now the first major U.S. airline to implement a blanket policy for all employees. United CEO Scott Kirby said in January that he wanted to make Covid vaccines mandatory for employees.

ViacomCBS

CEO Bob Bakish told employees earlier this month that the media conglomerate is requiring all U.S.-based employees working onsite during its “Yellow Phase” to be fully vaccinated, adding that it is still assessing whether this mandate will continue into the “Green Phase,” which is when most staff will be back in the office. Bakish also announced that the company is delaying the start of its “Green Phase” until Oct. 18 at the earliest.

“We will continue to closely monitor the impacts of the Delta variant and the response from schools, governments and other employers as we finalize our plans to return to the office,” Bakish said.

Walgreens

The pharmacy giant is requiring workers in its U.S. support offices to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 30, it said in a statement on Aug. 3. Those who do not adhere to the new rule will have to undergo Covid testing. Store associates must wear masks, regardless of vaccination status.

The Walt Disney Company

Disney is requiring all of its new, salaried and non-union hourly employees to get vaccinated before heading to work. “Employees who aren’t already vaccinated and are working on-site will have 60 days from today to complete their protocols, and any employees still working from home will need to provide verification of vaccination prior to their return, with certain limited exceptions,” the company said in part in an emailed statement. “Vaccines are the best tool we all have to help control this global pandemic and protect our employees.”

Walmart

Walmart corporate associates, managers and new hires are required to get their shot by Oct. 4, President and CEO Doug McMillon told employees in an internal memo obtained by NBC News. “As we all know, the pandemic is not over, and the Delta variant has led to an increase in infection rates across much of the U.S,” he wrote. “Given this, we have made the decision to require all campus office associates and all market, regional and divisional associates who work in multiple facilities to be vaccinated by Oct. 4, unless they have an approved exception.”

The Washington Post

Post employees, including new hires, must demonstrate proof of vaccination as a condition of their employment starting when they return to the office on Oct. 18, CEO Fred Ryan told staff in a memo sent out last week. “Even though the overwhelming majority of Post employees have already provided proof of vaccination, I do not take this decision lightly,” he said. “However, in considering the serious health issues and genuine safety concerns of so many Post employees, I believe the plan is the right one.”



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India tests nuclear-capable missile amid tensions with China

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NEW DELHI (AP) — India has test-fired a nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile with a range of 5,000 kilometers (3,125 miles) from an island off its east coast amid rising border tensions with China.

The successful launch on Wednesday was in line with “India’s policy to have credible minimum deterrence that underpins the commitment to no first use,” said a government statement.

The Agni-5 missile splashed down in the Bay of Bengal with “a very high degree of accuracy,” said the statement issued on Wednesday night.

Beijing’s powerful missile arsenal has driven New Delhi to improve its weapons systems in recent years, with the Agni-5 believed to be able to strike nearly all of China.

India is already able to strike anywhere inside neighboring Pakistan, its archrival against whom it has fought three wars since gaining independence from British colonialists in 1947.

India has been developing its medium- and long-range nuclear and missile systems since the 1990s amid increasing strategic competition with China in a major boost to the country’s defense capabilities.

Tension between them flared last year over a long-disputed section of their border in the mountainous Ladakh area. India is also increasingly suspicious of Beijing’s efforts to heighten its influence in the Indian Ocean.

Talks between Indian and Chinese army commanders to disengage troops from key areas along their border ended in a stalemate earlier this month, failing to ease a 17-month standoff that has sometimes led to deadly clashes. India and China fought a bloody war in 1962.



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Friedman, Dodgers facing decisions on FAs, Bauer this winter

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Andrew Friedman is headed into an offseason filled with crucial decisions involving the Los Angeles Dodgers’ big-name free agents, a rebuild of the starting rotation and Trevor Bauer’s future with the team.

As always, Friedman is guided by the ultimate goal of the monied Dodgers, saying, “The number one objective is to put ourselves in the best position to win in 2022.”

After coming within two wins of reaching the World Series for the fourth time in five years, the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations defined the team’s postseason as “our struggle to consistently score runs.”

“We needed someone to step up and pull an Eddie Rosario,” Friedman said, referring to the Atlanta Braves left fielder who was named MVP of the NL Championship Series.

“After we made the Trea Turner deal, in my opinion, one through eight, it was the deepest and best lineup I’ve been around. But it didn’t quite play like that over those two months. It was a little bumpier than I would’ve expected,” he said Wednesday. “Figuring out the why of that is the hard part.”

The turbulence began well before the postseason.

Reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Bauer went on paid administrative leave in early July under MLB’s joint domestic violence and sexual assault policy. MLB is conducting its own investigation and has yet to announce any findings. Bauer, through his representatives, has denied any wrongdoing.

Asked if Bauer will pitch for the team again, Friedman said they remain in the same position as before.

“It’s being handled by the league office,” he said. “Whatever they decide, we’ll have to figure out from there what makes the most sense for us.”

If MLB suspends Bauer, it could create a domino effect on the team’s payroll plans.

“The extent of it, I don’t know yet,” Friedman said.

The Dodgers began the season with eight starters and tried to get through the postseason with just Walker Buehler, Max Scherzer and 20-game winner Julio Urías. The lack of depth was exposed by the team’s decisions to use Scherzer in relief in Game 5 of the NL Division Series and Urías out of the bullpen in Game 2 of the NLCS that left both pitchers tired in their later starts.

“We’re got a really good group of young starting pitchers coming,” Friedman said, citing Mitch White, Andre Jackson, Bobby Miller, Ryan Pepiot and Landon Knack. “Gives us a really strong foundation of depth.”

Friedman and the front office have decisions to make on such key veterans as Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw, Corey Seager, Kenley Jansen and Chris Taylor, who will become free agents after the World Series.

“We’ll do everything we can to keep as many of this group together,” Friedman said, “but not standing in the way of a great opportunity and I’m sure there will be for different people.”

Kershaw, the 33-year-old three-time Cy Young Award winner, reinjured his left arm not long after returning from over a two-month absence for the same issue and wasn’t available to pitch in the postseason.

“He just wants to feel good again and get to the point where he’s healthy,” Friedman said.

Kershaw has spent his entire 14-year career in Los Angeles, where he’s been the longtime face of the franchise.

“There’s something nostalgic and great about Kersh playing for one team and winning another championship and having a parade,” Friedman said.

Offseason moves would be impacted if no agreement on a collective bargaining agreement is reached before the current deal expires Dec. 1.

“We need to be prepared accordingly,” Friedman said.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports





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Trump Jr. Gets A Reality Check After Comparing U.S. To Communist Czechoslovakia

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Donald Trump Jr. was ridiculed this week after he likened shortages of certain products in the U.S. under President Joe Biden to living in communist Czechoslovakia in the 1980s.

Trump Jr. made the remarks during conversation Saturday on Newsmax with Sebastian Gorka, a right-wing media personality and former aide to Donald Trump.

Gorka asked Trump Jr. to discuss the “empty shelves” and backlog of cargo ships in California due to supply-chain issues, given his “perspective” as someone who, “as a child, traveled behind the Iron Curtain and saw real socialism.”

“When conservatives say, ‘They’re socialists. The Democrats have gone radical,’ this isn’t an exaggeration, is it? You’ve seen it, Don,” Gorka added.

Trump Jr.’s mother, Ivana Trump, grew up in Czechoslovakia before moving first to Canada and then the U.S. in the 1970s. He told Gorka his Czech grandparents wanted him to understand the “freedoms and blessings we have here” in the U.S.

“So I traveled with them there every summer, you know, six, eight weeks. I’ve waited in those bread lines,” said Trump Jr., whose father was estimated to be worth more than $1 billion in the 1980s. “We’re starting to see the empty shelves that I experienced then in communist Czechoslovakia in the ’80s in America right now.”

Grocery stores in the U.S. are having problems stocking certain products due to the coronavirus pandemic, a worker shortage and shipping congestion at the Port of Los Angeles.

Some social media users and conservative media personalities have shown images of empty shelves to attack Biden over the supply-chain issues. However, some of these images have turned out to be photos from years ago.

Trump Jr. was slammed on social media for the absurd comparison. A number of people also pointed out that last year, at the peak of the pandemic during the Trump administration, shelves in stores across the country were stripped bare of certain essentials and people lined up for miles in their cars or for blocks on foot to get aid from food banks.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.

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