Is Biden’s vaccine mandate for large private sector businesses nothing but a presidential con job?

//
7 mins read

A report in the National Review this week highlighted something most Americans probably don’t realize. Joe Biden announced his plan for a vaccine mandate for employers with more than 100 workers and many companies have sprung into action to implement the new policy.

There’s just one catch. Biden’s statement so far has been just that…a statement. There has been no formal action by the President or any federal agencies to officially mandate such a requirement. There’s no executive order dictating that private sector businesses must force their employees to get vaccinated.

The only mandate executed by the White House has been a mandate to force federal employees to get vaccinated.

“There’s only one problem. It’s all a mirage. Biden’s so-called vaccine mandate doesn’t exist — at least, not yet. So far, all we have is his press conference and other such made-for-media huff-puffing. No such rule even claiming to be legally binding has been issued yet,” National Review’s Joy Pullman wrote.

According to the National Review, the only official communication from the White House on the matter have been a series of press releases and statements by the President and his press secretary Jen Psaki.


“There is nothing there yet that gives employers any mandate,” Stephanie McFarland, spokeswoman for the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration, told NR Oct. 6. “The president made an announcement on this asking OSHA to do it, but we’ve not yet seen anything come from it yet,” she also said.

Even though Biden has no official vaccine mandate for businesses, it’s a win-win for his policies after business after business fall in line behind the non-existent mandate.

A letter published recently in the Wall Street Journal by Bruce Atkinson explains why:

The mandate’s nonexistence shields the Biden administration from legal challenges that may ultimately restrict the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s authority. Yet the mandate is still effective at compelling industries and companies into compliance, as it leaves room for any eventual issuance to target noncompliant entities. This implied cudgel is particularly effective on industries and companies that are dependent on federal spending or the goodwill of federal regulators. The nonexistent mandate also allows so-inclined state and local governments and companies to issue their own mandates, seemingly in lockstep with Washington.

The Biden White House has been well-served by presenting a nonexistent mandate as a done deal.

Bruce Atkinson, Wall Street Journal

In September, the AGs of 24 Republican-led states wrote a letter to Biden over his threat to enforce a private-sector mandate.

“Your plan is disastrous and counterproductive. From a policy perspective, this edict is unlikely to win hearts and minds-it will simply drive further skepticism. And at least some Americans will simply leave the job market instead of complying. This will further strain an already-too-tight labor market, burdening companies and (therefore) threatening the jobs of even those who have received a vaccine. Worse still, many of those who decide to leave their jobs rather than follow your directive will be essential healthcare workers,” they wrote. “This is no idle speculation. A New York hospital recently announced its plans to stop delivering babies after several staff members resigned in the face of New York’s mandate. And recent polling suggests those frontline healthcare workers are not outliers. Thus, Mr. President, your vaccination mandate represents not only a threat to individual liberty but a public health disaster that will displace vulnerable workers and exacerbate a nationwide hospital staffing crisis, with severe consequences for all Americans.”

They also said Biden’s mandate relies on OSHA and will probably not see the light of day.

“You propose to enforce your mandate through the rarely used emergency temporary standard provision in the OSH Act. According to the Congressional Research Service, the Department has attempted to adopt an emergency temporary standard only one other time since 1983 (and that one exception came in June of this year and is being challenged). An emergency temporary standard does not have to go through notice and comment and can be made effective immediately upon publication. Because of this lack of process and oversight, courts have viewed these standards with suspicion. Between 1971 and 1983, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued nine emergency temporary standards. Of those, six were challenged. The courts fully vacated or stayed the standards in four cases, partially stayed the standards in another, and upheld only one of the six,” they added.

In the meantime, short of any Presidential actions, mandates, or order, the current state of Biden’s private sector vaccine mandate relies simply upon businesses doing it on their own, at their own free will. There are no laws, orders or directives at this time forcing any business in America to require vaccinations.

Time Magazine has reported that OSHA and the U.S. Department of Labor expressed frustration with Biden’s ‘mandate’.

“It’s been a very frustrating nine months for OSHA,” says Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jordan in the Time Magazine article. “This whole thing was basically thought up in the White House.”

While Biden has ordered OSHA to create an “Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS)” within two weeks of his September executive order, the agency still hasn’t moved on it.

“But the ETS that the President had personally requested “never saw the light of day,” says Debbie Berkowitz, a former OSHA official and National Employment Law Project (NELP) safety program director to Time Magazine. “I think the Administration didn’t have the political will to get it done.”

Instead, Biden now relies solely on his ability to sell his mandate to American corporations who are willing to voluntarily implement a “Get vaccinated or else” policy to their workforce.