President Joe Biden addressed the nation with his plan to advance Covid vaccinations yesterday. In his speech, he addressed the unvaccinated in a manner that gave the distinct impression he was not against the separation of individuals who for whatever their circumstances choose to be unvaccinated.
"The bottom line: We’re going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated co-workers," he remarked before laying out his plan to force American workers to take the vaccination. "We’re going to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by increasing the share of the workforce that is vaccinated in businesses all across America." A question no one has asked him is why the unvaccinated pose a threat to the vaccinated if the vaccine is successful at preventing the spread of Covid 19.
Claiming he has the federal authority to institute requirements for healthcare workers, he went on to say, "I will sign an executive order that will now require all executive branch, federal employees, to be vaccinated — all. And I’ve signed another executive order that will require federal contractors to do the same."
With disgust, he went on to say, "We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin. And your refusal has cost all of us. So, please, do the right thing." He went on, "The second piece of my plan is continuing to protect the vaccinated."
Biden went so far as to threaten governors of states opposing his mandate claiming, "If they’ll not help — if these governors won’t help us beat the pandemic, I’ll use my power as President to get them out of the way."
Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued the following statement on twitter. "Biden’s vaccine mandate is an assault on private businesses. I issued an Executive Order protecting Texans’ right to choose whether they get the COVID vaccine & added it to the special session agenda. Texas is already working to halt this power grab."
According to Breitbart News, a number of governers are standing up vowing to combat President Joe Biden’s federal vaccine mandate.
Other Key takeaways from Biden's plan to fight Covid:
Requiring all businesses with 100 or more employees to have their employees vaccinated:
The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing a rule that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work. OSHA will issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to implement this requirement. This requirement will impact over 80 million workers in private sector businesses with 100+ employees.
Requiring all federal workers and contractors that do business with the federal government to be vaccinated:
Building on the President’s announcement in July to strengthen safety requirements for unvaccinated federal workers, the President has signed an Executive Order to take those actions a step further and require all federal executive branch workers to be vaccinated. The President also signed an Executive Order directing that this standard be extended to employees of contractors that do business with the federal government. As part of this effort, the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Indian Health Service, and the National Institute of Health will complete implementation of their previously announced vaccination requirements that cover 2.5 million people.
Requiring vaccines for all health care professionals who work within the Medicaid and Medicare and other health care settings
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is taking action to require COVID-19 vaccinations for workers in most health care settings that receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement, including but not limited to hospitals, dialysis facilities, ambulatory surgical settings, and home health agencies. This action builds on the vaccination requirement for nursing facilities recently announced by CMS, and will apply to nursing home staff as well as staff in hospitals and other CMS-regulated settings, including clinical staff, individuals providing services under arrangements, volunteers, and staff who are not involved in direct patient, resident, or client care. These requirements will apply to approximately 50,000 providers and cover a majority of health care workers across the country. Some facilities and states have begun to adopt hospital staff or health care sector vaccination mandates. This action will create a consistent standard across the country, while giving patients assurance of the vaccination status of those delivering care.
Calling on large venues to require proof of vaccination or testing for entry.
The President’s plan calls on entertainment venues like sports arenas, large concert halls, and other venues where large groups of people gather to require that their patrons be vaccinated or show a negative test for entry.
Requiring employers to provide paid time off to get vaccinated
To continue efforts to ensure that no worker loses a dollar of pay because they get vaccinated, OSHA is developing a rule that will require employers with more than 100 employees to provide paid time off for the time it takes for workers to get vaccinated or to recover if they are under the weather post-vaccination. This requirement will be implemented through the ETS.
What is the constitutionality behind Biden's vaccine mandate? Can he force small businesses to force employees to be vaccinated? How will this affect small to medium size businesses? Is this government overreach, or should it be enforced? Have an opinion... WECU wants to hear from you.