Biden's six-prong COVID-19 plan includes vaccine and mask mandates: preview of Thursday speech

Details unclear, but president will also emphasize economic recovery and keeping schools open

President Biden's six-prong plan to fight COVID-19 will include vaccine and mask requirements, a White House official told Fox News Thursday. 

The White House has teased all week that the president will detail his six-prong plan to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, as cases rise in many parts of the country because of the more contagious delta variant. Those prongs will be vaccine requirements; booster shots; keeping schools open; increasing testing and requiring masks; economic recovery; and improving patient care. 

BIDEN ADMINISTRATION TO MANDATE COVID VACCINE FOR FEDERAL WORKERS, CONTRACTORS

The initial list of the president's plan is very light on details. It is not clear, for example, exactly who the president is going to call on to require masks – states, local governments, businesses, some combination of the three, or something entirely different.  

President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting about cybersecurity, in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021, in Washington. Biden will deliver an address Thursday about the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting about cybersecurity, in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021, in Washington. Biden will deliver an address Thursday about the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

It's similarly unclear who the president will be asking to impose vaccine mandates. Currently, most vaccine mandates are coming from employers rather than governments. 

Biden is likely to expand on those details and more in an address set for 5 p.m. Thursday. 

Potentially indicating where Biden will go on vaccine mandates, the president will sign an executive order Thursday requiring federal workers and contractors to be vaccinated, Fox News confirmed per a source familiar with the plans. 

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The source noted that this mandate is essentially an extension of previous mandates the Defense Department, Department of Veterans Affairs, the Indian Health Service and the National Institutes of Health were already in the process of implementing. Those mandates covered about 2.5 million people. 

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White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain appeared to allude that Biden will announce more than just the executive order on federal workers as part of his plan to increase vaccination rates. 

"Vaccines work. Later today, @POTUS will announce new steps to get more people vaccinated," he tweeted. 

Fox News' Kristina Biddle and Brooke Singman contributed to this report.