Biden – Stop Pleading And Start Acting, Responsibly

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Biden – Stop Pleading and Start Acting, Responsibly On Requiring Employees Of Private Businesses To Be Vaccinated; Must Act to Prevent States From Letting Their Citizen Die of COVID

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Requiring Employees To Be Vaccinated

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 4, 2021) - President Joe Biden is now literally pleading with governors to "get out of the way" and not prevent private businesses from deciding for themselves whether they will require their own employees to be vaccinated, or to require unvaccinated employees to wear masks and/or be tested frequently. The National Academy for State Health Policy reports that there are already 11 state bans on so-called "vaccine mandates," and that many more are under consideration.

But since requiring employees to be vaccinated is the most effective way to fight COVID and the disinformation campaigns which are helping it to spread - just like company requirements that workers quit smoking were so effective against a massive disinformation campaign by the tobacco industry - Biden should do more than simply beg and plead, especially when he can easily take action to save lives now, argues public interest law professor John Banzhaf, sometimes known as "Mr. Antismoking."

Biden should keep his promise to the American public to do everything he can to protect us all from COVID, especially when he can - simply and easily, without congressional approval, and in a move virtually immune from legal challenges - provide a powerful incentive for other states to not handcuff businesses dealing with COVID, and perhaps even persuade some states to back off from interfering with business determinations made freely under our free enterprise system, says Banzhaf.

Biden's COVID policy staff is mulling suggesting that President Biden consider directing executive branch agencies awarding grants (at least health-related grants) to limit the grants - or at least give preference - to applications from entities in states which have a vaccine requirement in effect by a stated date (e.g., Sept. 1, 2021), or, at the very least, do not prohibit private companies from adopting a vaccine requirement; as Biden has just done regarding federal employees and onsite federal contractors.

While the president almost certainly cannot directly block such state laws nor create a national vaccination requirement (even with congressional approval), he can simply, with unquestionable legality, and without congressional action, strongly discourage any more such legislation, possibly trigger some rollbacks or outright reversals, and encourage states, and entities within states, to require employees to be vaccinated (or undergo periodic testing) - especially now that such requirements are clearly legal.

Federal Law Doesn't Prohibit COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates

Banzhaf points out that the Justice Department has concluded that federal law doesn't prohibit COVID-19 vaccine mandates, a federal judge sided with a Houston hospital when employees sued to block its Covid-19 vaccine requirement, another federal court also rejected a request by students that it block Indiana University's vaccine requirement, and that this decision was just upheld by a federal appeals court.

In this regard it should be noted that the federal government also used incentives to persuade states to make major and very expensive changes in their procedures for issuing issue REAL-ID drivers licenses. Indeed, it used even stronger incentives to pressure tens of millions of Americans to wait in long lines at DMV stations. after assembling many hard-to-locate documents, since, without REAL-ID licenses, they would not be able to fly.

This, of course, is much more onerous than simply requiring people to show up for a vaccination, and perhaps even receive free time off and/or a monetary reward for doing so.

Imposing Vaccine-Requirement Conditions

Imposing vaccine-requirement conditions on grant applicants will immediately prevent many unnecessary deaths, whereas REAL-IDs, although far more expensive and much more burdensome, will save few if any lives with current TSA procedures in effect; as evidenced by the willingness to continue to extend the deadline by which REAL-ID licenses will be required for citizens to fly.

Thus the urgent need to employ conditions on grants to encourage states to adopt vaccine requirements, or at very least to permit private companies to make their own independent business decisions regarding COVID vaccines, is much stronger than the need to pressure states and individuals with regard to REAL-IDs. As another example. the burden imposed by the federal government to obtain a passport, which is required to travel abroad, is also much greater than a vaccination requirement, as are the burdens imposed to qualify for many other federal (and/or state) benefits.

President Joe Biden, the most powerful man on earth, does not have to stand by and watch hundreds if not thousands of Americans die because some governors will not let businesses make their own decisions regarding COVID vaccines. As Biden just urged others regarding COVID, "use your power to save lives."

Doing nothing - or, more precisely, doing nothing but plead - to prevent needless deaths and suffering, after promising to do all in his power to prevent them - is close to fiddling while Rome burns. Biden's COVID advisors have a unique opportunity and obligation to persuade him to take this simple, effective, and unquestionably legal action now, rather than concentrating simply on improving the messaging which has already been proven to be ineffective, the professor maintains.