Washington — Concerned but not giving up, President Joe Biden gives people a COVID-19 shot after the Supreme Court has suspended a thorough government vaccination or testing program for large employers. I am worried about getting it.
When hospitals run wild and record numbers of people are infected with Omicron variants, the government wants states and businesses to order their own vaccination or testing requirements. And if the president’s “bullying” is still convincing, Biden will use it.
Some in the business have helped defeat the mission, but Biden argued that administrative efforts were not in vain. “It doesn’t prevent my employer from using my voice as president to insist that he do the right thing to protect the health and economy of Americans,” the High Court ruling on Thursday said. rice field.
A conservative majority of courts have largely negated the Occupational Health and Safety Department’s requirement for employers with more than 100 employees to require workers to be vaccinated against coronavirus or to be tested weekly. However, it left the vaccination requirements for healthcare professionals intact.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that OSHA appears to be beyond the authority of Congress to implement occupational standards, saying, “COVID-19 is a risk that occurs in many workplaces, but in most cases it is professional. It’s not dangerous. “
Mandate was announced last September and was accompanied by intense criticism from Biden against about 80 million American adults who had not yet been fired.
“We have been patient, but our patience is diminishing and your refusal has sacrificed us all,” he said. The unvaccinated minority “can cause a lot of damage, they are,” he said.
In a post-Supreme Court decision, Biden expressed disappointment with the results, but stated that mandate had already had the desired effect on reducing the number of unvaccinated adults.
“Today, that number has dropped to less than 35 million,” he said of unvaccinated. “If my government did not set vaccination requirements, COVID-19 would result in more deaths and more hospitalizations.”
The court left the United States with the possibility of carrying out a more targeted mission, but White House officials said there were no immediate plans to redo the regulation.
“It’s now up to the state and individual employers to set vaccination requirements,” White House spokesman Jen Psaki said on Friday.
Lawrence Gostin, a public health law expert at Georgetown University, said the United States is already “slumping” with a vaccination rate of 60%, close to the bottom of its peers.
“OSHA’s rules were the president’s last best shot to significantly increase vaccination rates,” Gostin said. However, the court “in a very partisan way, deliberately tried to handcuff the president in doing what he needed.”
Many large companies that already have vaccination or testing requirements have shown no plans to reverse the course. However, SMEs said they were sighing relief for fear of a shortage of workers if the OSHA regulations were allowed to come into force.
Kyle Caraway, marketing director of Doolittle Trailer Manufacturing, who participated in a proceeding in which the Missouri Attorney General challenged Biden’s policy, said the Supreme Court’s ruling “removed a little worrying burden from our shoulders.” .. About 90% of the 175 employees of the Holts Summit, Missouri-based company said they refused to comply with vaccination requirements, he said.
“It turned out that our team would shrink significantly overnight if the vaccine obligations were enforced,” said Caraway, who counted himself among those who opposed Biden’s policy. Said. He said the suspension of production could have forced the company to “consider closing the door.”
The Service Employees International Union, which represents more than two million workers, said the court’s ruling was a bailout for health workers, but left others unsubstantiated.
“By blocking rules for vaccines or testing for large employers, courts put millions of other important workers at even greater risk and permanently tighten the rules against workers. I gave in to the company trying to do it, “said the union.
The union called on Congress and the state to pass legislation requiring vaccinations, masks and paid sick leave. Workers also need better access to testing and protective equipment, the union said.
New discussions on vaccination obligations have resulted in a record number of Americans hospitalized with COVID-19, with an average of about 800,000 new cases and 1,700 deaths per day in the country, vaccines. Resistance to is still a problem, especially in very conservative states such as Mississippi, where less than half of the population is fully vaccinated in Alabama, Wyoming and Idaho.
Hospitals across the country are suffering from chronic staff shortages and are being attacked by people appearing in emergency rooms in need of virus testing. National Guard has been activated in dozens of states to assist in medical centers, nursing homes, and test sites.
Hospitals on the edge of the Kansas City area had to rent ventilators from Missouri stockpiles to find more high-flow oxygen machines. The largest county in Kansas said on Friday that there was a lack of space in the morgue.
Gostin argues that OSHA cannot regulate anything that has a significant economic impact without explicit permission from Congress, and court action is critical to the efforts of other federal agencies to protect public health. I predicted that it would have a significant impact. And he said the state would not be able to compensate for the effects of the ruling.
“If COVID taught us something, it would tell us that the state couldn’t deal with the big and bold problem and couldn’t prevent the pathogen from moving from Florida to New York. “He said. “These are national issues that require a federal solution.”
Mr. Pusaki said the White House will work with businesses to promote the benefits of vaccination or testing requirements, and Biden will emphasize a successful program.
“The court ruled that my administration could not request this measure using the powers conferred by Parliament,” Biden said. Therefore, “I encourage business leaders to immediately join companies that have already stepped up, including one-third of Fortune 100 companies, and establish vaccination requirements to protect workers, customers, and communities. I will call you. “
Contributed by David A. Lieb of Jefferson City, Missouri and Lindsay Tanner of Chicago.
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