After the federal appeals court in the United States suspended last Saturday the obligation to vaccinate employees of companies with more than 100 people, the government of President Joe Biden said it will defend the measure.
” We are confident that this measure complies with the law and regulations,” Cedric Richmond, a close adviser to President Biden, told CBS. The official added that “the option of a weekly test” was offered to employees who were resistant to the vaccine.
“The carnage that is underway,” with more than 750,000 deaths from the pandemic in the United States, “is unacceptable,” and “vaccines are the best way to fight it,” Richmond insisted.
The controversial measure consists of forcing tens of millions of employees in companies with more than 100 employees to get vaccinated against covid-19 before January 4 or otherwise have to undergo very periodic tests.
Since he arrived at the White House, President Biden has paid a lot of attention to the coronavirus pandemic, much more than his predecessor, so he has implemented certain types of measures that for some sectors (such as Republicans) are radical.
The mandatory nature of vaccinations was challenged in the courts in particular by the Republican-controlled state of Texas, opposed to any obligation to vaccinate to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
In its decision, the federal appeals court with jurisdiction in that huge southern US state ruled that the plaintiffs had “made arguments suggesting that there are serious constitutional and procedural problems” with the government text.
Therefore, the measure is “suspended” pending the examination of the merits by the court.
” We will be able to challenge Biden’s unconstitutional abuse of power in court, ” Conservative Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who has already banned mandatory vaccination in his territory, commented on Twitter. He added that the hearings will take place “soon.”
Even if it’s just a suspension, it’s a major setback for Joe Biden, who had just achieved his first major legislative victory with the adoption in Congress on Friday of his infrastructure investment plan.
” Vaccination is the best way out of this pandemic,” Biden had said in a statement published on Thursday, indicating that he would have “preferred to avoid this obligation” intended to affect more than two-thirds of the country’s workforce.
Too many people are still not vaccinated so that we can finally get out” of the pandemic, he estimated.
The suspended text leaves the employer to take whatever action it deems appropriate, including penalties, against those who resist vaccinations and regular testing. The companies that do not want to implement the obligation are exposed, according to the norm to a fine of between 13,000 to 136,000 dollars.
The White House had anticipated that the new rule would be imposed in all states, including those that have adopted laws prohibiting employers from requiring vaccination, masks, or anticovid tests.
However, in the country of individual freedoms, the measure unleashes criticism from the Republican opposition, which denounces a “dictatorship.”
Several companies, including the meat giant Tyson Foods or the airline United Airlines, had already prepared the ground by imposing these obligations on their employees since the end of September.
About 58% of the US population has been immunized as of November. This represents an increase since August when the decrees began to be announced.