Executive Power Now Fighting COVID – What’s Next? Vaccine Requirements on Grants. and Access to Flights, Being Considered
Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more
Gates Capital Management's ECF Value Funds have a fantastic track record. The funds (full-name Excess Cash Flow Value Funds), which invest in an event-driven equity and credit strategy, have produced a 12.6% annualised return over the past 26 years. The funds added 7.7% overall in the second half of 2022, outperforming the 3.4% return for Read More
Joe Biden Using His Executive Powers To Fight COVID
WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 19, 2021) – Rather than trying to continue relying upon mere persuasion, Joe Biden has finally begun to use his executive powers as President to fight against the ever-increasing number of unnecessary deaths and expensive hospitalizations caused by Americans refusing to be vaccinated against COVID, notes public interest law professor John Banzhaf, whose prior suggestions have now been adopted.
In mandating that nursing homes have their staffs vaccinated or risk a funding cutoff, and by instituting vaccine requirements on federal workers, federal onsite contractors, and members of the armed forces, Biden is using executive authority which requires no action by Congress, and is largely immune from legal attacks, because importuning by spokespersons and often confusing guidelines has simply not be effective, says the professor.
Banzhaf, whose suggestion for fighting COVID has been adopted by the FDA, and who previously suggested that Biden begin imposing his own vaccine requirements, is encouraged by these new development, and has suggested several additional executive actions which Biden can take to carry out his promise to do everything in his power to protect the public from COVID.
Yesterday’s nursing home order may be only the first step towards using his executive powers over federal funding to save lives, and reduce the spread of the new delta variant, says Banzhaf, who noted that it took just such actions when he was fighting smoking, and faced a much more effective and much better financed disinformation campaign which – then like now – overwhelmed governmental warnings, health messages, and agency guidance.
Awarding Of Federal Health Grants
The professor, who has had many successes in several public health fields, suggests that the logical next steps might include conditioning the awarding of federal health grants to applicants having vaccine requirements in place, and also extending the current plan to ban foreign unvaccinated flyers from entering the U.S. to all airline passengers on flights both domestic and foreign.
More specifically, the professor has proposed to the President’s COVID advisors that Biden announce that he is ordering federal agencies within the executive branch which award health-related grants, and as to which they have been permitted significant discretion in selecting applicants both public and private, to award grants only from entities within states which had vaccine requirements in place as of a given date; at very least, give applications from entities in such states preference over other applicants.
Alternatively, agencies could give lower priority in awarding grants to entities which have refused to adopt vaccine requirements in states which do not prohibit such restrictions.
After all, argues Banzhaf, why should we send taxpayers’ money earmarked to protect public health to cities, counties, hospitals, universities, charities, and other entities which risk the lives of employees and the public by imposing no restrictions on their unvaccinated employees who create a very high risk of exposing others to a deadly disease.
He has also suggested to dozens of Biden’s COVID advisors that the President require those wishing to fly to have one or more vaccination shots before they board.
Since it has been announced that the White House is planning to mandate that foreign nationals be vaccinated to enter the U.S. once international travel restrictions are lifted, Biden can and should apply the same rule to returning U.S. citizens, and perhaps to domestic flights also, says the professor. Here’s why.
Vaccination Requirement For Travelling
Even if the U.S. does not require vaccinations for its own returning citizens, the major countries to which Americans will be traveling will almost certainly adopt the same vaccination requirement for their arrival, so anyone who wants to fly internationally will soon have to provide proof of vaccination. The same argument, and reasons for such a requirement on international flights, should also apply to airline flights within the U.S.
Limiting flights to adults as well as older children who have been vaccinated, as well as to younger children and those exempted from the requirement for medical or religious reasons, would reduce the transmission of the rapidly spreading delta variant, as well as other variants which may develop, and also provide a very strong incentive for holdouts to become vaccinated. Both effects would help prevent thousands of needless deaths, and many more very expensive hospitalizations, at a time when both are soaring.
If flights were largely limited only to those who have been vaccinated, it would probably also be possible to phase out the mask requirement during flights, especially given the ventilation and filtration systems on modern passenger aircraft.
As more and more people are beginning to appreciate, it is very unfair to continue to burden the majority of adults who have wisely agreed to be vaccinated – in this case by requiring them to wear masks for hours while flying – because of the minority which refuse to agree to this common sense precaution.
While now we may have only an “epidemic of the unvaccinated,” on airlines passengers who are vaccinated are being burdened for the stubbornness of the holdouts.
Documented Proof Regarding Vaccination
Note that international airline travelers are already required to undergo expensive and inconvenient tests for COVID just before both arrival and departure, and to present documented proof of such tests before boarding. So requiring documented proof regarding vaccination is not unreasonable, nor unreasonably burdensome on passengers or carriers.
As another example, even for domestic flights, flyers will soon have to go through the difficult and time-consuming process of obtaining a REAL-ID driver’s license – even though the American lives likely to be saved from terrorist attacks by this burdensome requirement are minimal given existing TSA measures. And those who wish to travel abroad have for a long time had to endure the many problems of obtaining (and sometimes even of renewing) a U.S. passport.
Compared to these burdens to which the federal government already subjects all those who wish to fly (as well as the vaccination requirement on federal workers, onsite government contractors, active duty military, and nursing home workers) – not to mention the delays, hassles, inconvenience, and invasions of privacy from TSA check points – the burden of having to obtain a free and usually-no-waiting-time COVID vaccination in order to fly would be minor, and certainly not unreasonable.
The federal government, and an ever growing number of employers, colleges, and places of public accommodation are already requiring people to prove that they have been vaccinated, so it’s not as if this is a novel or unreasonable requirement, especially given the new wave of totally unnecessary COVID deaths and hospitalizations, and the growing impact on innocent your children.
Moreover, since trying to further refine or clarify the government’s messaging on COVID seems to be about as ineffective as the government’s messaging during the last century urging people not to smoke, we should now do what finally turned the tide and helped prevent millions of unnecessary smoker deaths by persuading tens of millions of American to protect their own health – by adopting restrictions aboard aircraft, and by permitting if not encouraging employers to insist upon vaccinations as a condition of employment.