President Biden has officially announced American companies and workers will have until January 4th to get their second Coronavirus vaccine or be subjected to weekly testing.
Context: In September, President Biden announced that private businesses with 100 or more workers must either be vaccinated or be subjected to weekly testing and wear masks in the workplace. Businesses that fail to comply risk hefty fines for the violations.
What Happened: On Thursday, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced the January 4 deadline for businesses and workers.
Separately, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced rules for healthcare workers which are even stricter as the weekly testing exemption won’t apply to those in the field. The CMS rule will allow for medical and religious exemptions.
The White House also announced it is pushing its federal contractor vaccine deadline to January 4th.
Who’s Affected: The OSHA rule is expected to impact around 84 million Americans, while the CMS rule is expected to affect around 17 million.
According to White House officials, business owners who willfully violate the mandate can face up to $14,000 fines with the potential for multiple citations per business.
What Republicans Say: Senate Republicans have begun the process to formally nullify Biden’s order by using the Congressional Review Act.
Republican Attorneys General have also begun filing lawsuits against President Biden over the mandate. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state AG announced Thursday they would be joining Georgia and Alabama in suing the administration and OSHA over the unconstitutional order.
“This is not consistent with a government of limited and enumerated powers,” Gov. DeSantis said. “There is no general police power, there is no power to mandate on the American people from the federal government.”
“Individuals should make informed choices about their own healthcare,” he added. “They shouldn’t be coerced into getting the jab.”