Surgeon general defends legality of Biden vaccine mandate
Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy did the rounds on this He is featured on Sunday’s television show defending the Biden administration’s new COVID vaccine mandate Narrow directives that only apply to specific businesses where the federal government has “legal authority to act”—a direct counter to Republican accusations of unconstitutional federal overreach.
Murthy called the plan “ambitious and thoughtful” on the ABC program “This Week,” adding, “These kinds of requirements really work to improve our vaccination rates.” He said they were part of “serious steps to be taken to save our country from COVID-19 and to help us overcome this pandemic.”
He cited Tyson Foods, one of the top meat processors in the country. In August, it said it would require COVID vaccination for its employees. The Surgeon General said the company’s vaccination rate has grown from 45 percent to over 70 percent in a short span of time. And they’re not even on their deadline yet.”
The mandates – for vaccination or weekly testing – cover 17 million health care workers in institutions receiving Medicare and Medicaid funds, As well as about 80 million employees in private companies with more than 100 employees.
asked about The administration used the powers of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration at private workplaces to enforce the mandate, Dr Murthy said, adding that the administration believed it was “appropriate” and “legal”.
OSHA’s foundational law, he said, gives the agency the “responsibility to ensure that the workplace is safe for workers, and that’s what it takes.”
With Republican governors in several states promising to file lawsuits to block the rules from taking effect, protests that sparked anger and fear over COVID vaccines have stirred a significant portion of GOP voters.
Asked whether the new mandate would toughen up the call for opposition to civil disobedience and COVID vaccination, Dr Murthy said it was completely understandable that people were weary of the waves of the viral disease and that some took security measures. Patience was lost with the precautions.
But he pointed to the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks a day earlier to show how the nation can unite around the crisis.
“It’s been a long, difficult pandemic – I know it’s generated a lot of anger and a lot of fatigue, a lot of impatience,” he said.
“But what we cannot allow,” he said, “is for this pandemic to turn us on each other. Our enemy is the virus. It is not each other’s.”
Dr. Murthy on CNN’s “State of the Union” acknowledged that people want to circumvent mandates with religious exemptions or other means, but noted that the nation has learned over the decades how, for example, to enforce childhood vaccinations as a requirement for school attendance .
“We have experience dealing with exemptions,” he said, “but there has to be a cautious approach and to make sure that people are using them in the sense that they are intended and not, as you know, abuse them. Give or ask for discounts when they don’t apply.”
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