Despite the Supreme Court stopping the vaccine mandate for large businesses dead in its tracks, a “disappointed” President Joe Biden is continuing to urge companies to “institute vaccination requirements.”
By a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court halted Biden’s sweeping vaccine mandate that required businesses with 100 employees or more to require workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or supply a negative COVID-19 test weekly and wear a face mask indoors at their places of employment. Biden announced the vaccine mandate in September, and it went into effect on Monday. The mandate was to be enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Shortly after the highest court in the land put a kibosh on the vaccine mandate on Thursday, Biden reacted to the reversal of his order.
“I am disappointed that the Supreme Court has chosen to block common-sense life-saving requirements for employees at large businesses that were grounded squarely in both science and the law,” Biden said in a statement. “This emergency standard allowed employers to require vaccinations or to permit workers to refuse to be vaccinated, so long as they were tested once a week and wore a mask at work: a very modest burden.”
“As a result of the Court’s decision, it is now up to States and individual employers to determine whether to make their workplaces as safe as possible for employees, and whether their businesses will be safe for consumers during this pandemic by requiring employees to take the simple and effective step of getting vaccinated,” Biden continued. “The Court has ruled that my administration cannot use the authority granted to it by Congress to require this measure, but that does not stop me from using my voice as President to advocate for employers to do the right thing to protect Americans’ health and economy.”
Biden then urged companies to implement their own vaccine mandate for employees.
“I call on business leaders to immediately join those who have already stepped up – including one third of Fortune 100 companies – and institute vaccination requirements to protect their workers, customers, and communities,” Biden implored.
The Supreme Court did uphold the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers at facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding. In the 5-4 ruling, Justices John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh joined the liberal justices.
Besides the Supreme Court ruling against Biden’s vaccine mandate, this week has been especially demoralizing for the administration.
Arizona Democrat Sen. Kyrsten Sinema delivered a speech declaring that she will never vote with her party to end the Senate’s 60-vote filibuster requirement.
In the latest Quinnipiac poll, the president’s approval rating hit a new low – only 33% of Americans approve of the job Biden is doing, and 53% disapprove of his job performance.