“This is not about freedom, or personal choice, it’s about protecting yourself and those around you,” the president asserted as he revealed the policy.
Who is covered under the Biden mandate?
The new executive order mandates the medical treatment for all federal workers and removes the option for workers and contractors to choose not to get vaccinated. But in a controversial decision, it exempted Postal workers from the forced vaccinations. On Thursday afternoon, after considerable pushback for the apparent bow to the Postal Union, the administration backtracked and said 600,000 Postal Service workers would be given the option to be tested every week and avoid the jab.
Biden later said employees of private companies with more than 100 employees would also face a federally mandated vaccination and impose “strict requirements” on those that did not.
Biden appeared angry as he contradicted his former statements, going back to December 2020, that he would not mandate the vaccine for Americans.
Republicans and others were quick to respond, calling the move clearly unconstitutional and “dangerous.”
This is exactly the kind of big government overreach we have tried so hard to prevent in Arizona — now the Biden-Harris administration is hammering down on private businesses and individual freedoms in an unprecedented and dangerous way. This will never stand up in court. 1/2 https://t.co/FcSyR4DLwD
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) September 9, 2021
Employees already fired
Tens of thousands of Americans have already been fired from their jobs for refusing the vaccine. Those include nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals, airline stewardesses, and others. Last week, Biden mandated the shot for workers in nursing homes saying facilities would lose Medicaid funds if they did not enforce it.
The mandate will have “limited exceptions for legally recognized reasons such as disability or religious objections,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington.
Federal workers will have approximately 75 days to become fully vaccinated or be fired.
The Biden administration has yet to require illegal migrants to be vaccinated even though Covid is common among the 700,000+ that have crossed the border.
But migrants did not come up in Biden’s speech. He was solely focused on Americans and Psaki outlined punishment for non-compliers.
“If a federal worker fails to comply, they will go through the standard [human resources] process, which includes counseling and face disciplinary action, face progressive disciplinary action. Each agency is going to work with employees to make sure they understand the benefits of vaccination, and how the vaccines are free, easy, and widely accessible. But it will start to be applied once the executive order is signed,” Psaki said.
Everett Kelley, the president of the American Federation of Government Employees, which describes itself as the largest federal employee union, representing 700,000 federal and D.C. government workers nationwide, sated “workers deserve a voice in their working conditions.”
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster was among the hundreds of elected officials who decried what he said was an unconstitutional decision. “Biden and the radical Democrats [have] thumbed their noses at the Constitution,” Kelley said.
Dr. Mark Caleb Smith, director of the Center for Political Studies at Cedarville University, said he was shocked with Biden’s announcement
“It’s probably not getting up to detaining Japanese-Americans during World War II but its not that far away,” Smith said. “When you’re talking of tens-of-millions of American citizens potentially being forced into a medical decision they want to avoid, it’s a remarkable thing.”
Some experts believe Biden’s vaccine mandate will go down in history, and not in a good way.
Smith said it will all come down to how the court will interpret the OSHA statute, which includes an emergency standard that allows Biden to issue emergency rulings if it presents a grave danger to our society — but he doesn’t believe the coronavirus pandemic will suffice.
“I think it’s going to be difficult, the vaccines do work at some level but people who don’t have them are still surviving at very high rates,” Smith said. “Legislation doesn’t really unpack what that phrase should be in terms of ‘grave danger’ so it’s going to be interesting to watch.”
The Supreme Court will have to determine if the vaccine mandate violated the president’s powers obtained in Article II of the US Constitution, but it all depends on the phrase “grave danger.”
“For the president to do this just with his own power through executive power, no legislation in place, without the typical notice and comment period connected to federal bureaucratic decisions, it’s a huge bypass of the typical process,” Smith said.
The Republican National Committee responded with a warning.
RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said the mandate was “unconstitutional” in a statement.
“Joe Biden told Americans when he was elected that he would not impose vaccine mandates. He lied. Now small businesses, workers, and families across the country will pay the price,” she said.
“Like many Americans, I am pro-vaccine and anti-mandate,” she said. “Many small businesses and workers do not have the money or legal resources to fight Biden’s unconstitutional actions and authoritarian decrees, but when his decree goes into effect, the RNC will sue the administration to protect Americans and their liberties.”
–Metro Voice and wire services