President Joe Biden has issued a vaccine mandate demanding private business employees and federal workers to get inoculated against COVID-19. In his remarks on Sept. 9, the president called the viral outbreak “a pandemic of the unvaccinated.” He said almost 80 million Americans have refused to get a vaccine despite “an unprecedented and successful vaccination program.”
Biden said that some elected officials were “actively working to undermine” the administration’s fight against COVID-19. He accused the 80 million unvaccinated individuals, accounting for 25 percent of the country’s population, of causing “a lot of damage.” The president blamed the overcrowding of hospitals, intensive care units, and emergency rooms on the unvaccinated. Biden claims that the “world’s leading scientists” confirm that the risk of severe illness from COVID-19 is low among vaccinated people.
“This is not about freedom or personal choice. It’s about protecting yourself and those around you… The Department of Labor is developing an emergency rule to require all employers with 100 or more employees, that together employ over 80 million workers, to ensure their workforces are fully vaccinated or show a negative test at least once a week,” Biden said in a speech.
The president added that some of the biggest companies like United Airlines, Fox News, Disney, and Tysons Food have already implemented such measures. Earlier, Biden had announced mandatory vaccines for nursing home workers who treat patients on Medicaid and Medicare. In his new speech, he announced expanding the mandate to those working at hospitals, home healthcare facilities, and other medical centers. The decision brings 17 million healthcare workers under the purview of the mandate.
Biden issued an executive order to vaccinate federal employees. He stated that they need to take “all available steps” to prevent being infected and avoid spreading the virus to co-workers and other people. “The CDC has found that the best way to do so is to be vaccinated,” the order states. In addition, federal contractors will also be required to issue vaccine mandates.
Biden estimates that his plan will affect 100 million Americans, two-thirds being workers. While speaking to reporters, White House press secretary Jen Psaki stated that workers who fail to comply will go through counseling and face “progressive disciplinary action.”
A senior official from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration stated that they will take enforcement actions against employers who fail to comply with mandates; fines will be up to $14,000 per violation.
In a message directed at unvaccinated individuals, Biden stated that his patience was “wearing thin” and that their choice “has cost us all.” He pointed to the FDA approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to justify getting a jab. “What more is there to wait for? What more do you need to see? We’ve made vaccinations free, safe, and convenient,” Biden stated.
However, Biden’s claim of getting vaccinated due to FDA approval of Pfizer is false, according to an article published by Liberty Counsel. The FDA had granted approval for Pfizer’s “Comirnaty” COVID-19 vaccine for which there are no supplies in the United States. The existing Pfizer vaccines, which amount to millions of doses, are all classified for use only under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). People have the full right to reject EUA vaccines.
Criticism from many corners
Mary Holland is the Children’s Health Defense president and general counsel. In an interview with The Defender, she stated that mandating COVID-19 vaccines violates the idea of “informed consent ethic” for which the United States had led the way in the Nuremberg Code. The code, developed at the end of the Second World War, emphasizes that people cannot be made to take experimental drugs without their full consent.
“President Biden’s efforts to coerce federal workers and those who have elected to remain unvaccinated is clearly in violation of the Nuremberg Code, which has been incorporated into U.S. federal and state law. This is a sad day for ethics and the rule of law,” Holland said.
The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), which represents 30,000 federal law enforcement officers nationally, has criticized Biden’s vaccine mandate.
In a statement, FLEOA President Larry Cosme said that the government must be willing to “trust its employees to make their own medical decision.” He said that vaccines should only be promoted through encouragement and “not coercion.” Cosme accused the executive order of villainizing employees for making reasonable medical decisions.
“Today, 75 percent of American adults have at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. We are well on our way to herd immunity based on voluntary vaccination. A mandate at this time only undermines these voluntary vaccination efforts and reduces public comfort in getting vaccinated,” Cosme said.
Lawmakers have been vocal about Biden’s controversial mandate as well. Republican Congressman Bill Cline called the vaccine mandate a “gross abuse of power” and potentially unconstitutional. Republican Representative Kelly Armstrong stated that instead of making people comfortable to get a vaccine, the mandate is making them angry.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) has announced that it plans on suing the Biden administration. “Joe Biden told Americans when he was elected that he would not impose vaccine mandates. He lied. When his decree goes into effect, the RNC will sue the administration to protect Americans and their liberties,” GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel tweeted.
Biden’s mandate is expected to trigger opposition from millions of employees and their employers, which could include lawsuits. A recent Gallup poll had found that 38 percent of Americans were opposed to employer vaccine mandates; 29 percent were strongly against it.
“Mandating vaccines for our 170+ full time employees at Turning Point USA? No chance. We will sue you Joe Biden, and win,” Charlie Kirk, the founder, and president of Turning Point USA tweeted.
Republican JD Vance, a U.S. Senate candidate from Ohio, has called for civil disobedience. “Do not comply with the mandates. Do not pay the government fines. Don’t allow yourself to be bullied & controlled. Only mass civil disobedience will save us from Joe Biden’s naked authoritarianism,” Vance said.
After Biden announced the vaccine mandate, the hashtag #IwillNotComply has trended on Twitter.