At this point in the vaccine rollout, most believe that there’s nothing that can be done to convince those who refuse to get vaccinated to change their minds. President Biden’s attempts to force a federal mandate on workers via OSHA was blocked by the courts. But that hasn’t stopped Wall Street from barring the unvaccinated from its facilities, even though vaccinated employees are just as likely to spread the virus.
Not long after Citi became the first megabank to announce plans to fire workers who refused to comply with vaccination policies, private equity giant Blackstone will now prohibit any workers who haven’t gotten their booster shot from its offices, Bloomberg reports.
Just yesterday, CNBC’s Jim Cramer casually mused on his show that the side effects from getting a Moderna booster were about as bad as getting sick with COVID.
Oh oh. Jim Cramer on CNBC saying he felt worse after his Moderna booster shot than from having Omicron.
— SteveAustinWI (@SteveAustinWI) January 12, 2022
But not only will Blackstone’s workers be tasked with getting boosters (and providing proof to their employer) but they will also be subjected to as many as three COVID tests per week.
This puts it on par with Goldman Sachs, which said late last month that it plans to require boosters and double testing for office workers.
Others are taking a softer approach: Bank of America says it will donate $100 to local food banks and hunger-relief organizations for each American employee that registers their COVID booster.
During a conference earlier this week, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon warned vaccine holdouts in New York that they won’t be able to work in JPM’s offices, and that “we’re not going to pay you not to work in the office” – a roundabout way of suggesting that workers who don’t get vaxxed will eventually be shown the door.
BlackStone bucked the national trend when it asked workers to return to its offices by early June. And when COVID cases surged later in the year, it let staffers return home for a few months. But as of Jan. 18, they are expected back at the office, and they better have a filled-out vaccination card to show for their efforts.