(NewsNation Now) — President Joe Biden visited Chicago on Thursday to promote his vaccine mandate for businesses.
“We are heading in the right direction if we keep our eye on the ball here,” Biden said. “We still have a long way to go.”
Biden spoke in suburban Elk Grove Villiage at a construction site run by Clayco, one of the largest construction companies in the Midwest. He said there’s still work to be done to get more people vaccinated.
“We know there is no other way to beat the pandemic than to get the vast majority of Americans vaccinated,” Biden said.
Biden’s trip to the Windy City was rescheduled from last week due to contentious negotiations on Capitol Hill over his stalled economic recovery plan.
The president is championing vaccination requirements across the country in an effort to force the roughly 67 million unvaccinated American adults to roll up their sleeves.
While in Chicago, the president met with CEO of United Airlines, Scott Kirby, as well as local Democratic leaders to continue his vaccine mandate push.
Watch President Biden deliver remarks from Chicago in the player above.
Clayco is taking action weeks before a forthcoming rule by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that will require all employers with more than 100 employees to require that their staffs be vaccinated or face weekly testing for the coronavirus.
Biden said without more employers requiring employees to get vaccinated, “we face endless months of chaos in our hospitals, damage to our economy and anxiety in our schools and empty restaurants, much less commerce.”
The idea of mandatory vaccination faced pushback from critics who argue it smacks of government overreach and takes away people’s rights to make their own medical decisions.
In the coming weeks, more than 100 million Americans will be subject to vaccine requirements ordered by Biden — and his administration is encouraging employers to take additional steps voluntarily that would mandate people get vaccinated or subject them to testing requirements.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.