“It’s long past time for all Americans to get vaccinated. Americans have the luxury of access to the vaccines that not all global citizens have,” says Steve Lamar, president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association.

“Covid-19 has proven a stubborn foe but vaccines have been proven to be the single most effective way to dramatically slow the spread and prevent serious illness and death. AAFA is proud to have been one of the first trade associations to meet 100% vaccination among our staff, and we are pleased to see the Administration accelerate efforts so that others can do the same.”

Lamar’s comments come after President Biden expanded the reach of vaccination requirements via an executive order issued on 9 September.

A press briefing released the following day said: “Yesterday, the President dramatically expanded the reach of vaccination requirements, requiring — through a rule OSHA is developing — that all businesses with 100 or more employees ensure every worker is either fully vaccinated or gets tested at least one time a week; requiring all workers in most healthcare settings that receive Medicaid or Medicare to be fully vaccinated; requiring all federal executive branch employees and all employees of federal contractors to be fully vaccinated; and requiring all Head Start educators and teachers and staff of all federally run schools to be fully vaccinated.”

In addition to vaccinations, the President’s plan calls for more testing with retail giants Walmart, Amazon, and Kroger due to begin selling at-home testing kits at cost for the next three months.

“The only way to address the economic fallout from Covid-19 is to resolve the underlying health crisis that we have been dealing with for the past year-and-a-half,” Lamar said. “While the economy is doing better than it was last year, recent supply chain disruptions and factory closures due to the Delta variant have stymied our economic recovery. These steps will go a long way to ensure that we are getting vaccines in arms, and that we can protect our workforce from this disease that has already cost the world so much.

“More must also be done to share our excess vaccine supply with our international partners. Covid-19 is not a battle at the country-level, but one where the world is in this together.”

AAFA has advocated for the equitable distribution of vaccine supply to the US’s international partners for several months. It has also reached out to the Biden administration to highlight the supply chain disruptions that are delaying the nation’s economic recovery.

Earlier this month, Lamar said the US economic recovery is under threat as supply chains are seeing unprecedented disruptions as a result of factory closures linked to Covid, “legendary price gouging” from carriers, and freight lines and huge backlogs at the ports.