President Biden Issues Vaccine Mandate for Private Businesses that Employ 100 or More
Private businesses that employ 100 or more employees will be subject to a nationwide COVID-19 vaccine mandate that will take effect Jan. 4, said President Joe Biden, who this morning issued the mandate that will apply to 84 million Americans.
Businesses that do not comply with the mandate, which requires the choice of full vaccination or weekly COVID-19 testing, will face fines of up to $14,000 per violation.
In addition, all unvaccinated employees will be required to wear masks in the workplace, according to the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which also requires businesses to pay their employees for the time that is required to get vaccinated.
Although a brief respite from high COVID rates last spring caused President Biden to call the months to come “the summer of freedom” from the virus, in September, when COVID’s Delta variant spiked the virus’s infection rate, Biden first mentioned that he would impose several nationwide mandates.
“A distinct minority of Americans supported by a distinct minority of elected officials are keeping us from turning the corner,” President Biden said Sept. 9. “We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us.”
While some states banned vaccine mandates, President Biden has said that his mandate overrides those prohibitions: a legality that will likely be challenged in court.
For instance, the Republican National Committee has already said that it will sue over Biden’s private-sector vaccine mandate, and last month, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed an executive that aimed to nullify the federal mandate for the businesses in his state.
When asked how he responded to critics and potential litigators against his vaccine mandate, President Biden said they can “have at it.”
(Official White House Photo by Cameron Smith)