Private Sector Mandate: 56 Days

The Flag Staff Contributor
Private Sector Mandate: 56 Days
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Private Sector Mandate: The Biden Administration and US Labor Department are facing pushback for vaccine mandates and regular testing for private sector business with 100+ employees. Here’s what both sides are saying. To have stories like this and more delivered directly to your inbox, be sure to sign up for our newsletter.

Top Story: Private Sector Mandate

Last Thursday, the US Labor Department announced that companies with 100 or more employees will need to ensure their workers are either vaccinated or engage in weekly COVID-19 testing by January 4th. That’s 56 days from now. If companies don’t follow the directive President Biden originally announced in September, they could face penalties of up to around $13,600 per violation. Over the weekend, a federal appeals court temporarily halted the requirement. More broadly, at least 27 states filed lawsuits challenging the rule in several circuits, some of which recently became more conservative given former President Trump’s judicial appointments, the Associated Press notes. However, Democratic Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly also came out against Biden’s vaccine mandate as well. Here’s what both sides are saying about the January 4th deadline.

On The Left

Left-leaning outlets generally support vaccine mandates. For starters, the country already has these requirements in place for many childhood diseases. And while businesses are worried about losing employees, what’s worse, they ask: a tight labor market or another COVID pandemic wave?

“The foolish GOP grandstanding against vaccine mandates” Editorial Board, The Washington Post: “President Biden’s decision to mandate vaccines for businesses with more than 100 employees is having the desired impact. Big companies are complying, and more Americans are getting vaccinated every day, protecting themselves, their families, and the world around them. New daily cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are declining. … Ideally, vaccines should not require mandates at all. They are highly effective, free, and widely available. But millions of Americans are still hesitant. … Closing the gap — getting vaccines to those who are willing and as many of the wavering as possible — is key to ending the pandemic. … No campaign of mandates is going to be foolproof or easy; many businesses are worried about losing employees in a tight labor market. But that disruption is far less costly than would be another pandemic wave of covid.”

“No, Vaccine Mandates Aren’t an Attack on Freedom” Paul Krugman, The New York Times Opinion: “A successful vaccination campaign could mean a successful Biden administration, and the right is determined to prevent that, no matter how many avoidable deaths result from vaccine sabotage. It’s noteworthy that Fox has a very strict vaccination policy for its own employees. … Personal choice is fine — as long as your personal choices don’t hurt other people. … Going unvaccinated during a pandemic does hurt other people — which is why schools, in particular, have required vaccination against many diseases for generations. … Incidentally, the fact that breakthrough infections happen actually strengthens the case for mandates, because it means that even those who’ve gotten their shots face some danger from those who refuse to follow suit. … Vaccination, then, should be considered a public duty, not a personal choice. … That’s why we have long standing vaccine mandates for many childhood diseases. And the same logic applies to COVID-19.”

“Biden is on to something important” Julian Zelizer, CNN Opinion: “Over the past few months, the administration has made significant progress with vaccines. By shifting to a more proactive approach with vaccine mandates, we have seen big jumps in the number of Americans receiving the jab. The more the administration can do to reach unvaccinated populations in the US, control the spread of the virus at home and work with allies to boost supplies of the vaccine in other parts of the world, the better the prospects are for an economic rebound. … If the Democrats cannot offer tangible progress on the economy, the pandemic, and popular social policies like paid family leave, they will likely be looking at Republican congressional majorities in 2023 and a very competitive presidential election the year after. But if they keep problem-solving, the party can beat the odds and pave the way for a much brighter future.”

On The Right

Right-leaning commentators believe the choice to get vaccinated is a personal decision. If regulations are necessary, they should come from the states, not the federal government, they say. This is why they believe Biden’s January 4th deadline is unconstitutional and just another issue dividing the country.

“OSHA’s Vaccine Mandate Overkill” Editorial Board, The Wall Street Journal: “COVID cases and hospitalization have blessedly plunged since the summer Delta surge as more Americans have been vaccinated or acquired natural immunity. Yet the Biden Administration is still fighting the last virus war, and on Thursday rolled out its worker vaccine mandate, which will likely do more harm than good. … The mandate comes amid a historically tight labor market and could impel some workers to quit. … Vaccines have been a pandemic godsend. But the Administration’s unnecessary mandate is trampling state police powers, imposing new burdens on employers when they can least afford it, and making life harder for the unvaccinated who want to work in an economy with too few workers. He’s also courting a political counterreaction, as Tuesday’s election showed.”

“Vaccine mandate could wreck businesses” Editorial, The Dallas Morning News: “What’s certain is that yet another bitter fight over state authority and individual liberty will ensue, and what Biden sees as a kept promise in the interest of public health will have unintended consequences. … We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic, while it may be beginning to wane, remains a public health crisis of the highest order. But just as more Americans — including children ages 5-11 — are able to get vaccinated, and more parents and workers are making the right choice to get vaccinated, levying such steep fines on employers could result in still greater backlash and sow yet more division among Americans. For this reason — at the very least — we would caution Congress against approving any sharp increase in OSHA fines, and caution the administration not to be overly aggressive in levying punitive fines on America’s employers, no matter how ‘thin’ the president’s patience is wearing.”

“Biden’s vaccine mandate is two large steps backward in the war on COVID-19” Sean Reyes, Deseret Opinion: “Regardless of where you stand on vaccines, one thing is certain: the decision to get vaccinated is still a very personal one. While vaccines have allowed us to take one giant step forward against the pandemic, President Joe Biden’s federal contractor mandate and private sector mandate drive us two monumental steps back. First, progress we have made in encouraging those who are hesitant to get vaccinated was quickly lost. The hesitant have now become decided — decidedly against getting vaccinated. … Second, because the administration is using unlawful means to achieve its vaccination goals, it only worsens mistrust for any future government efforts against COVID-19. Every American — the vaccinated and unvaccinated — should be angry about Biden’s vaccination dictate because he is using unconstitutional means to realize his mandates. … For these reasons, I am committed to challenging these illegal orders all the way to the Supreme Court. Not because vaccines are wrong, but because mandating them in these ways very much is.”

Flag This: Private Sector Mandate

According to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey published October 28, “A quarter (25%) of workers say their employer has a vaccine requirement, up from 9% in June. About a fifth (21%) of workers say that they want their employer to require vaccinations even though they don’t, while about half (51%) say they don’t want their employer to require it. … When unvaccinated workers are asked what they would do if their employer required them to either get the COVID-19 vaccine or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing, 11% say they would be most likely to get the vaccine, nearly half (46%) would opt for weekly testing, and over a third (37%) say they would be likely to leave their job.” In a similar study published last Wednesday by Qualtrics, “The majority of employees (58%) support the executive order mandating vaccinations in some workplaces,” Michelle Shen reports for USA TODAY. Furthermore, “Over half (55%) of employees would consider reporting a co-worker for violating the rules.”

Flag Poll: Private Sector Mandate

Do you support or oppose President Biden’s January 4th vaccine mandate and/or testing requirement for American companies? Comment below to share your thoughts.

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Thomas Bender
20 days ago

The rationale for the mandate was allegedly the health crisis facing our country. The Biden announcement was two months ago, and the mandate will not become effectively for two more months. That is a very long time to address an emergency. In my view this is just another effort by a failing ,flaying president to gain some political momentum. I am vaccinated and would advise others to follow suit, but it is their decision.

20 days ago

Oppose. Your body, your choice. Frankly, I think people are naive if they think a vaccine is going to cure this virus. Whoever let this loose knew exactly what they were doing. Creating another virus that would continue to mutate forever requiring booster shots yearly. Sound familiar? Now you have flu and Covid. What next? And follow the money. Who is benefitting from this?

20 days ago

I do not approve of Biden’s mandate. But before I write more, I am pro vaccine and have just had my booster as well. First of all, it dumps the requirement on private companies who can be sued instead of the federal government for issues and allowing OSHA to remove the requirement to report problems/side effects from it is pure garbage legislating and trash thinking. Even if the ability to sue goes away, the workforce will know of issues – they always know what’s going on – and will exit for that reason as well. Also, when there are some side effects, as ALL vaccines can have, the mindset is to blow off these people instead of being scientific and medically processing and addressing the issues. Secondly, it selects only specific companies based on some unknown criteria as well as based on size. If this is a pandemic and this is a true emergency it should be a blanket requirement across every human being otherwise it’s a joke- after all, then I could get a breakthru just from having gone to a doctors office, a dentist office, the local flower shop, etc.. so what good is a mandate like that? Moreover it will deplete the already stressed old-age homes and personal care homes that are already struggling to keep people – even prior pandemic. He doesn’t care because he’s old and has his own parachutes to land on – while many do not. This all does leave a taste in your mouth that the man does not care about us people at all – he’s hard, mean and thoughtless. Third, it emphasizes vaccines only instead of counter emphasizing therapeutics to cure/treat the disease. Fourth, this seems to be a political backlash as most of this President’s actions are – all seem aimed to stew the hate for Trump, trash anything done in the last admiistration, even if good, … then ignore the SAME faults of prior administrations including the Obama administration. It just makes us all sick of this – our administration and government should not be a game of hate and manipulating the US people. It should be working for us. He seems so selfish and overly political, mean and full of hate.

Terry Warkentine
20 days ago

We’ve been requiring vaccines for generations. Why is this one any different? Tell me why so many are more afraid of a lousy shot, than dying?

20 days ago

Oppose. My body, my choice. It’s not a vaccine at all, in the sense that it does not prevent COVID. It mitigates COVID. It eases the severity and eases the burden on hospitals, both are great outcomes. But it should be the individual’s choice, not the government’s.

20 days ago

A mandate has to be mutual to make it mandatory. If you don’t want the shot don’t comply it’s lawless.

20 days ago

I oppose all mandates. If I were in a situation where I had to get a shot at my job I would probably refuse and try to get an exemption. However, I retired at the end of 2020 and I’m so glad I did. I’m away from the stupidness of vax mandates, mask mandates, etc. This president Biden administration is totally worthless.

Reply to  Tim
20 days ago

In addition, where is the natural immunity discussion? If someone has had Covid and has recovered just take a look at the Israeli data and those with natural immunity, they have much stronger immunity than any vaccination.