Biden asks businesses to ignore court-blocked vaccine mandate amid Omicron variant

by Alex Caldwell

Joe Biden is asking private businesses to ignore a recent federal court ruling stalling vaccine mandates, and continue on with enforcement.

“We’re asking businesses to step forward and do what’s right to protect their workers and to protect their communities, which is to put in place some sort of vaccination requirement or testing requirement for the workplace,” a senior administration official said.

Joe Biden asked businesses to ignore a federal court’s ruling to halt his vaccination mandates, despite their legality being questioned.

This comes after the Biden administration demanded that all private businesses with 100 or more employees mandate the vaccine on all their workers, or implement weekly Covid-19 tests, by Jan. 4. Those who do not unanimously comply with Joe Biden’s orders will be fired and stripped of their livelihoods, per his executive order. Healthcare workers, public employees and federal contractors are also required to comply.

However, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the enforcer of Biden’s vaccine mandates, halted their enforcement last month after the mandates were blocked by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, citing “grave statutory and constitutional issues” with the mandates.

On Wednesday, Biden’s orders were stalled again after St. Louis District Judge Matthew Schelp blocked the mandates against healthcare workers in ten states: Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. The court orders call for a preliminary injunction of the mandate’s enforcement, “pending a full judicial review of the mandate’s legality.”

Despite federal courts legally blocking the vaccine mandates, Biden is still maintaining that businesses should move forward with his executive order anyways amid the new Omicron Covid-19 variant. Biden tweeted that it is a “cause for concern—but not panic,” and that he would fight the variant with “science and speed—not chaos and confusion.”

Biden also suggested that coronavirus vaccines and boosters may need to be updated to fight the new variant, causing more confusion among Americans deciding whether or not to get vaccinated.

The Biden administration asked the 6th Circuit Court last week to reinstate the vaccine and testing mandates, although the court has not yet made a decision on whether to reinstate the policy.

The Biden administration is expected to announce new travel restrictions on Thursday, and that Americans with private insurance will be able to receive tax-payer funded, at-home Covid-19 tests. Biden, who criticized then-President Trump for banning travel from China amid Covid-19 surges last year, banned travel from six African countries last week.

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