Biden mandates vaccine for companies with more than 100 employees
A vaccine mandate has been issued pushing companies to require the vaccine for employers. On Thursday Sept. 9, President Joe Biden asked the U.S. Department of Labor to issue the new vaccine mandate. According to CNBC, the mandate applies to companies with more than 100 employees.
Biden enforced this mandate to help lower COVID-19 case numbers, as the delta variant continues to spread. 54.5% of all Americans are fully vaccinated. The mandate would apply to about two-thirds of all U.S. employees, those who work for businesses with more than 100 workers according to Reuters.
Employers have raised questions about the mandate and asked for clarification. Consequences for those who do not comply will most likely be faced with a fine. According to Reuters, “The U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration plans to take enforcement actions against private companies that do not comply.” Fines could reach up to $14,000 per violation. Fines are also being raised for people who refuse to wear a mask on planes, buses and trains.
Biden’s plan to lower COVID-19 cases will also require vaccinations for more than 17 million healthcare workers, according to Reuters. This applies to hospitals that take part in Medicare and Medicaid social programs.
The mandate has reached employers at the wrong time as many were previously struggling to find employees. According to CNBC, “In August, the CPG industry added just 6,000 jobs, well short of its needs to keep up with demand.” Employers have put off mandating the vaccine in their companies, fearing they will lose more employees. Companies are fearing further job shortages due to Biden’s vaccine mandate.
When the mandate is enforced, infectious disease and health policy experts said the mandates are unlikely to significantly change infection rates quickly, according to CNBC. However, the vaccines would help against potential future waves by reducing deaths and hospitalizations.
Backlashes from Biden’s vaccine mandate have started to take action. According to NBC, “The Republican National Committee said Thursday that it plans to sue the Biden administration.” The claim of the RNC is that the mandate is unconstitutional and federal overreach. According to the Washington Post, “several Republicans have said they believe that people should get vaccinated against the coronavirus but should not be required to do so.”
Boosters are also a topic of controversy as the U.S. could start to provide boosters as soon as Sept. 20. While many Americans are wanting the extra booster vaccine, others believe the money and supplies could be better used elsewhere. World Health organization general Tedros Adhanom Ghereyseus stated that wealthy countries should refrain from giving booster shots to make doses available for poorer countries, according to USA today.