Biden announced vaccine mandates on September 9th to target nearly 100 million working Americans through the bureaucratic use of a fifty year old OSHA law. This policy is bad policy for a few reasons.
It puts more stress on our healthcare system
This cohort includes 17,000,000 healthcare workers of whom around 1 out of 3 are unvaccinated. Many of which have been working the frontlines of this pandemic since the beginning. They have had ample time to receive the vaccine and were one of the first groups eligible to do so. If they have chosen not to receive the vaccine, they must have their personal reasons for it. One of the common reasons is wanting more long term data, no rushed FDA approval or free price tag on the vaccine can substitute for long term studies into vaccine safety.
In fact, many healthcare workers feel so strongly about the vaccine that some are choosing to resign in light of the mandates. A hospital in upstate New York just had so many nurses in their maternity ward resign that they had to announce that they will no longer be delivering babies until they can find vaccinated replacement staff. This could just be the tip of the iceberg for the disastrous effect that vaccine mandates could have on the healthcare industry. Imagine if nearly one third of healthcare workers resigned or were terminated.
It puts stress on small to midsized employers
The big businesses love it according to the media. The Googles, Walmarts and Amazons welcome the mandates. Why? Probably because the sheer scale and resources to handle them. It will be interesting to see if the testing option costs are passed onto the employees or the employers. Either way, Amazon fulfillment center workers and Walmart store workers are easily replaceable. The same goes for their corporate teams. Won’t get the vax? Fine, we’ll find someone that will.
But when it comes to midmarket sized companies, it gets a little trickier. These businesses are big enough to meet the 100 employee threshold that the Biden administration pulled out of thin air, but are they big enough to manage the mandate requirements? Weekly testing, vaccine documentation, and everything needed to be in compliance? What happens if their employees decide they don’t want to get vaccinated or test weekly and that they’re just going to go to a smaller employer? How hard will it be for them to find replacements? These are questions that have yet to be answered, but it’s looking like small and medium businesses will bear the brunt of these mandates.
It’s not really based on science
These mandates aren’t rooted in data as much as they are rooted in politics. Biden is banking on the vaccinated majority to welcome these mandates and boost his poll numbers. To hell with the unvaccinated minority and their personal concerns. This is a president who talked about unifying America.
This vaccine mandate completely ignores natural immunity, which studies have proven is effective in producing antibodies. Some studies have even suggested that natural immunity is more robust than two doses of the Pfizer vaccine. If this is the case, shouldn’t natural immunity count equally to vaccination? In this case the mandate should be vaccine or natural immunity.
As long as there is community spread in other parts of the world and we have open borders, we will never get the vaccine under control. So if it was such a dire emergency, we would really need to close our borders. However, that’s just it. It’s not a dire emergency. The recovery rate for COVID-19 is over 99% for nearly all age groups and probably even higher than that with an undercount of actual infections.
If the vaccines offer sufficient protection, then the vaccinated should be as protected as they can be. They shouldn’t have to worry if people are vaccinated or unvaccinated. Maybe we don’t know how effective the vaccines are, but forcing more people to have them doesn’t make them more effective especially if we have open borders and emerging variants.
It targets the wrong population
Personally, I’m not for mandates of any form, but hypothetically let’s say I was pro mandate. I would say that Biden is mandating the wrong group.
Instead of threatening people’s jobs who have been working throughout the pandemic, why not start with unvaccinated people receiving federal benefits like unemployment, SNAP, or welfare? Especially when the majority of unvaccinated Americans are low income with many of them receiving government aid. Maybe because the majority of low income Americans tend to vote Democrat? Which would mean that the vaccine divide isn’t so much Republicans going unvaccinated as media polls would have you believe, but rather low income, urban democrats.
This makes a lot of sense from a numbers perspective, but it also makes sense from the left’s whole equity argument stance. Especially since everyone keeps saying low-income communities of color are being hit the hardest by this pandemic. Many of these people receive government benefits in one form or another so wouldn’t it make sense to require vaccination to receive those benefits? Wouldn’t it help reduce the impact on these communities? And potentially help reduce unemployment among these demographics?
Right now, there are 10.93 million job openings in the United States. When employers are already having trouble filling vacancies because of extended unemployment benefits, why does the Biden administration feel that the best policy move is to mandate vaccines for working Americans?
Black and Latino Americans have had the highest unemployment rates lately.
We don’t need more working Americans out of a job because they don’t want to get vaccinated or test weekly. The national debt is higher than it has ever been and rising faster than ever before. Now is not the time to mess with the economy.
We have yet to see the details of Biden’s mandates, but they are coming. When they arrive they will be met with legal challenges in the courts. Until then, we can just wait and see.
I personally believe these mandates are a huge government overreach and the fact that a bureaucratic artifice like OSHA could push through such violating requirements on American workers is down right terrifying. Where is the legislature? Where are the checks and balances? The Supreme Court really is our only hope, but it shouldn’t have come to this.