Biden Defends COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate for Businesses

President BidenJoe Biden Democrats pressed panic button after Virginia Manchin collapse says he won’t vote to override Senate MP Carville blames ‘stupid awakening’ for Democratic losses MORE On Thursday, he defended his administration’s coronavirus vaccination mandate for businesses, arguing that it will not lead to a worker shortage amid Republicans’ rejection of the impact it could have on the economy.

The Labor Department published the broad vaccine or testing mandate Thursday, which applies to companies with at least 100 employees, and set a Jan.4 deadline for companies to comply.

“As we have seen with businesses, large and small, in all sectors of our economy, the vast majority of Americans choose to get vaccinated,” Biden said in a statement. “There have been no ‘mass layoffs’ or worker shortages due to vaccination requirements. Despite what some have predicted and falsely claimed, the vaccination requirements have wide public support. “

The president also argued that the vaccine requirements are nothing new, noting that they exist for other diseases and that the safety requirements are not new either. He said that “I would have preferred that the requirements were not necessary”, but that the requirements are because “too many people” are not vaccinated.

The mandate is expected to cover 84 million people and was developed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA plans to conduct workplace inspections and the standard fine is $ 13,653 for a single violation, which would increase if there are multiple violations.

“The virus will not go away by itself, or because we want it to: we have to act. Vaccination is the best way out of this pandemic, ”said Biden.

Republicans have criticized the mandate since Biden first announced it in September. Republican governors, including the governor of Texas. Greg abbottGreg AbbottTexas Passes Constitutional Amendment Prohibiting State From Limiting Religious Services Foreign Auto Manufacturers Push Against Electric Vehicle Tax Credit Abbott, O’Rourke In Virtual One-Year Tie From Texas Gubernatorial Election MORE and the Governor of Florida. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisDeSantis Organizes Police Force Formation to Crack Election Crimes Foreign Car Manufacturers Push Against Electric Vehicle Tax Credit University of Florida Professor Says Unable to Testify on Coronavirus Measures MORE, have vowed to fight her in court.

The top Republican on the House of Representatives Labor and Education Committee. Virginia FoxxVirginia Ann Foxx Oil companies downplay early weather awareness under fire from Democrats Greene fined for third time for refusing to wear mask on House floor House passes bill to expand protections in place of work for breastfeeding mothers MORE (RN.C.) issued a statement on Thursday, saying that “job creators should not be forced to become the testing and vaccine police for [Biden]. “

He said companies are already grappling with worker shortages, runaway inflation and a broken supply chain.

Biden asked employers to act on Thursday.

“Businesses have more power than ever to accelerate our journey out of this pandemic, save lives and protect our economic recovery,” he said.

He also defended vaccine requirements as a way for the economy to recover after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The vaccination requirements are good for the economy. Not only do they increase vaccination rates, but they help get people back to work – up to 5 million American workers. They make our economy more resilient to COVID and keep our businesses open, ”he said.

The deadline for healthcare workers at facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid to be fully vaccinated is also Jan.4, and the administration has pushed back the deadline for federal contractor employees to be fully vaccinated until that time. date.

On the health worker rule, the president said: “No one should be at risk when seeking medical care.”

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