Why 80 million Americans could be affected by the Biden administration's vaccine mandates for private companies

Xin Xin

On September 10, 2021, President Biden tweeted;

Tonight, I am announcing a new plan to combat COVID-19, building on our whole-of-government approach. The plan will get more people vaccinated, decrease hospitalizations and deaths, and keep our schools and our economy open.

Part of the Biden administration’s plan requires companies with more than 100 employees to mandate their employees to be vaccinated. Otherwise, they need them for weekly testing.

The new rule will affect some 80 million Americans. Are you one of them?

Many companies were already moving toward mandates. From a recent survey by Willis Towers Watson, they found out:

On vaccine mandates: Before the latest surge of coronavirus cases, few companies had announced vaccine mandates. But according to a survey released Wednesday, most companies now have plans to require that employees get vaccinated by the end of the year. Conducted by Willis Towers Watson, the survey polled nearly 1,000 companies that together employ almost 10 million people:
52 percent plan to have vaccine mandates by the end of the year (including 21 percent that already do).
78 percent plan to track employees’ vaccination status (55 percent already do).
17 percent are considering health insurance premium rewards or surcharges to encourage vaccination (2 percent already do).
Joe Biden speaking with attendees at the Clark County Democratic Party's 2020Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America
The mandate will be implemented through an Emergency Temporary Standard to be issued by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Experts predict legal challenges to be launched, but they say OSHA has the authority to protect workers’ safety by requiring vaccinations, Bloomberg reports. The 1905 Supreme Court decision in Jacobson v. Massachusetts has also been widely cited, in which the court upheld the Cambridge, Massachusetts Board of Health’s authority to require vaccination against smallpox during an epidemic.

On the White House website: The directive is already posted and will soon be implemented by OSHA.

Requiring All Employers with 100+ Employees to Ensure their Workers are Vaccinated or Tested Weekly
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.

Is there a legal basis for Biden's vaccine mandate?

Biden’s vaccine mandate for workers has a legal basis, experts say. We can all look back at history and the decisions by the court. According to Jstor Daily, there is legal precedent.

The great precedent is Jacobson v. Massachusetts (1905). Massachusetts was the first state to pass a law requiring vaccines for schoolchildren, in 1855. By 1902, it was one of eleven states with a history of such mandates. That year, during a smallpox outbreak, public health officials in the City of Cambridge mandated that adult residents get the smallpox vaccine. Henning Jacobson refused and was consequently fined $5 (approximately $150 today). Jacobson argued that his Fourteenth Amendment right to liberty had been violated and that Cambridge’s mandate was “unreasonable, arbitrary, and oppressive.”

This proves that vaccine mandates are not new, in fact, and goes on record in Massachusetts as far back as 1855 when Massachusetts enacted a law requiring vaccines for schoolchildren.

In the same article, it quotes the Supreme Court;

That while freedom of belief may be absolute, freedom of action is not. There is no liberty to infect others with a communicable disease, just as there is no liberty to murder.

President Biden is implementing a six-pronged, comprehensive national strategy:

  • Vaccinating the unvaccinated
  • Protecting the vaccinated
  • Keeping schools safely open
  • Increasing testing & requiring masking
  • Protecting our economic recovery
  • Improving care for those with COVID-19

President Joe Biden on Friday blamed unvaccinated Americans for slowing down the U.S. economic recovery, accusing some elected officials of actively trying to undermine the administration’s efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

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