Biden set to deliver major speech on next phase of pandemic response, sources say

President Joe Biden is set to deliver a major address on the next phase of his pandemic response Wednesday, two sources familiar with the speech tell CNN.

While officials were still finalizing specifics early this week, the speech will have multiple components related to schools, private companies and requirements for federal employees. It’s the most they have done to date, one person said.

The crafting of the next steps has been led by Biden’s coronavirus team. There are still certain limitations on what the administration can do, and the expectation is still that the federal government cannot order a broad mandate on vaccinations, which officials have said publicly before.

The speech comes as Biden has seen a significant drop in Americans’ confidence in his handling of the pandemic. A recent Washington Post-ABC poll showed it dropped to 52% from 62% in late June.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

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