With Democrats having been shellacked at the polls on Tuesday, the Biden administration is pivoting from the carnage toward an issue only a liberal could think is a winner: Forcing Americans to do things they don’t believe they should do.
It was in this authoritarian spirit that the White House announced on Thursday that, starting Jan. 4, it will begin to enforce its previously proposed vaccine mandate.
The logic for the Biden administration has been that Americans like vaccine mandates and won’t return to work until they feel safe. This has been nonsense because (1) those who have been most vocal about being unsafe are the vaccinated (whom logic dictates should be the most protected); and (2) the Biden administration has been paying Americans to not go to work.
But now it’s more complicated.
The point of the mandate is control. The reason that it must be enforced now, as opposed to from the outset, is because — as Tuesday’s votes in Virginia, New Jersey and elsewhere showed — radical Democrats are in real trouble with voters, and the moderates have no incentive to acquiesce to the radicals. This means the congressional works are officially gummed-up, so President Joe Biden has the opening to do what he has wanted to do all along: Take power from Congress and wield it via the executive branch.
That was former President Barack Obama’s strategy for dealing with public blowback and subsequent hesitancy in Congress – for instance, Obama’s Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals executive order on illegal immigration that followed his party’s loss of the Senate in the 2014 midterms. Biden is following suit.
Here is what it would mean, according to the 490-page document, if this mandate were to go into effect on an estimated 100 million American workers covered by its provisions.
Beginning Jan. 4, companies with 100 or more employees will be forced to fire unvaccinated employees, test them regularly for COVID-19 infection or be faced with steep fines. In what NPR suggests is an underhanded attempt to force employees to choose to be vaccinated, companies will not be forced to pay for or provide testing, meaning that employees who choose not to be vaccinated will incur the expense. (Health care workers would not even receive this option.)
Furthermore, employees must receive paid time off to get vaccinated and receive sick leave to recover from side effects, and the unvaccinated will be forced to wear masks.
That last point would basically be forcing employees to reveal their vaccination status to co-workers — a gross invasion of medical privacy that arguably amounts to punishment for failing to comply.
Aside from the fact that this policy is likely both unconstitutional and based on polling or misinterpretations of polling rather than medical data, the mandate raises the question of whether there are any principles involved that would limit the government’s power. The answer is that there are none.
Many Americans will no doubt seek religious exemptions for vaccination from their employers, and, as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s website notes, the law does give weight to such requests. Still, there’s no guarantee that employers would honor them, which creates an environment where the courts get involved — a time-consuming and almost certainly an expensive process for all parties involved.
As for a potentially even more important concern, this does not end, nor does it stop from getting worse. OSHA will enforce this mandate as an emergency temporary standard (ETS). The Biden administration believes that “emergencies,” being conducive to power-grabs, are universal and infinite.
Because of this, the emergency never ends – and as other political pressures necessitate it, the crackdowns must be tightened to signal action and concern.
This mandate is blatant tyranny intended to extend the lifespan of a failing presidency and crammed down under the guise of compassion. It is a logically and scientifically incoherent usurpation of power that will face legal complications of an awe-inspiring variety.
Given the generally effective performance of the vaccines, it is also evidence that something good, when entrusted to an incompetent, unprincipled and unfocused government, can become vicious and deleterious overnight.
Americans of all stripes, pro- or anti-vaccine, should have serious concerns about this extreme use of federal power.
Callousness and overreach from Biden and the radical progressives has come to be expected. They should come to expect lawful resistance from a free people — and a resounding defeat in the midterm election cycle when Americans get to have their formal say.
Author: Kevin Catapano
Source: Western Journal: Biden's Vaccine Mandate Is Worse Than We Thought: Look How He's Punishing Unvaxxed Employees