When the Covid 19 vaccine was first authorized for emergency use in December, 2020, President-elect Joe Biden said that he wouldn’t impose national mandates to get vaccinated for Covid 19.
But on September 9, 2021 and in a televised speech, President Joe Biden announced a federal Covid 19 vaccination mandate affecting as many as 100 million Americans “in an all-out effort to increase COVID-19 vaccinations and curb the surging delta variant.”
Calling Covid 19 “a pandemic of the unvaccinated” and that “our patience is wearing thin” with the estimated 80 million Americans who have not been vaccinated, President Biden announced new rules that:
“mandate that all employers with more than 100 workers require them to be vaccinated or test for the virus weekly, affecting about 80 million Americans. And the roughly 17 million workers at health facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid also will have to be fully vaccinated.”
“an executive order to require vaccination for employees of the executive branch and contractors who do business with the federal government — with no option to test out. That covers several million more workers.” (Emphasis added)
There are different rules for different groups people, leading to confusion and further divisiveness.
For example, while international travelers visiting the US must provide proof of vaccination before being allowed into the country, the hundreds of thousands of people illegally crossing our southern border and being released into our country are not required to have the Covid 19 vaccine.
What scientific justification is there for this?
Now the Biden administration just unveiled its new 490 page Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) “emergency temporary standard” that also requires companies with 100 or more employees to mandate that workers get vaccinated, or tested weekly and wear a face mask.
But surprisingly, as a November 4, 2021Wall Street Journal editorial article titled “OSHA’s Vaccine Mandate Overkill“ notes:
“Separately, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a vaccine mandate for health-care facilities with no testing option.” (Emphasis added)
“According to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey last week, 37% of unvaccinated workers said they would leave if their employer required them to get a vaccine or be tested weekly.“(All emphasis added)
Firing unvaccinated employees in a tight labor market when so many employers are desperate to hire hurts not only employees but also businesses.
In addition, these vaccine mandate rules have led to vaccine refusal by some essential workers like police, garbage collectors and healthcare workers in cities like New York who then lose their jobs. This not only affects these workers and their families but also the delivery of these essential services to the populace.
Religious or medical exemptions from taking the vaccine are often difficult to obtain.
For example, a hospital system in Arkansas maintains that the “majority of religious exemption requests cited the use of fetal cell lines in the development of vaccines” but counters that the “practice uses cells grown in labs to test many new vaccines and drugs, including common antacids and cold medications.”
Therefore, the hospital’s religious exemption form “includes a list of 30 common medications that used fetal cell lines during research and development” and asks employees to attest that they:
“truthfully acknowledge and affirm that my sincerely held religious belief is consistent and true” and that they won’t use the medications listed.” (Emphasis added)
Now the CDC has announced emergency use authorization of Covid 19 vaccine for children 5-11. If mandated, what will that mean for schools and parental rights to refuse or consent to medical treatment?
So far, 68% of Americans have received at least one dose of a vaccine and 59% are fully vaccinated.
At the same time, at least 27 states so far have decided to take legal action against the new rules, claiming the mandate is an example of federal overreach and both “unlawful and unconstitutional.” And on November 6, 2021, a US federal appeals court temporarily halted President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for businesses, citing potentially “grave statutory and constitutional” issues.
Unfortunately, the Covid 19 vaccination mandates have caused some severe divisions between those who have been vaccinated and and those who refuse to be vaccinated for various reasons.
My husband and I are fully vaccinated but some of our adult children are not. We encouraged them to take the vaccine but we have to respect their decision. We believe that people who refuse or are hesitant about the vaccine should not be vilified or treated as second class citizens.
We are all Americans and we need to work together.
And there may be hope on the horizon as new Covid 19 pills are being developed and showing promise with Pfizer’s pill said to be 89% effective for mild to moderate Covid 19 symptoms. Pfizer now plans to ask the Food and Drug Administration to authorize the pill’s use this month. Another Covid 19 pill from Merck & Co. was cleared for use in the U.K. this week.
These pills could be a gamechanger and help heal not only Covid 19 but also our fractured country.