On Monday, the White House told businesses to move forward with implementing rules for vaccines for workers despite federal judges previously issuing a stay in the order.
What Happened: On Monday, deputy White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that Biden does not think businesses should wait for judges to reverse the stay on the order or for the outcome of various other legal challenges to the rule before implementing it on employees.
“We think people should not wait. We say, do not wait to take actions that will keep your workplace safe. It is important and critical to do and waiting to get more people vaccinated will lead to more outbreaks and sickness.”
“We’re trying to get past this pandemic, and we know the way to do that is to get people vaccinated,” Jean-Pierre added.
Context: Last week, the White House revealed the vaccine mandate, formally known as an emergency temporary standard, would go into effect on January 4th.
The rule says that businesses with over 100 workers must have employees vaccinated or be subjected to weekly tests and hefty fines. However, exemptions will not be offered for those in the healthcare industry.
The new rule is expected to impact more than 80 million Americans.
What The Court Said: On Saturday, a three-judge panel on the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, issued a stay, or temporary halt, on Biden’s mandate.
In their decision, the judges cited “grave statutory and constitutional issues” over the mandate.
Details: Federal law gives the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) the authority to issue an emergency temporary standard if it determines workers are exposed to a “grave danger” that necessitates the rule.
What Democrats Say: Democrats have overwhelmingly signed on to President Biden’s vaccine mandate. Over the weekend Biden’s Chief of Staff, Ron Klain told NBC’s “Meet the Press” he believes the rule will be upheld.
“I’m quite confident that when this finally gets fully adjudicated, not just a temporary order, the validity of this requirement will be upheld,” Klain told reporters.
However, not every Democrat is so keen to blindly agree to Biden’s mandate. Kansas Democrat Gov. Laura Kelly released a statement rebuking Biden’s order noting her doubts over its effectiveness.
What Republicans Are Saying: Republican lawmakers have already taken steps to officially rescind the vaccine mandate and other state Republicans have filed lawsuits against President Biden.
Georgia’s Brian Kemp and Florida’s Ron DeSantis have each launched lawsuits against the order.