White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain took some heat on social media on Thursday after he retweeted a post that appeared to praise the Biden administration for making an end-run with their vaccine mandate plan.
The post was regarding Thursday’s announcement by President Joe Biden of a federal COVID-19 vaccine requirement.
The original tweet in question came from MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle who stated, “OSHA doing this vaxx mandate as an emergency workplace safety rule is the ultimate work-around for the Federal govt to require vaccinations.”
The President announced new rules that would compel private sector employers with 100 employees or more to require that they be fully vaccinated, or be forced to undergo weekly testing.
Businesses that do not comply with the new mandates would be fined up to $14,000 per incidence.
In his address, Biden referred to it as a “new action plan” that would be enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Handing off the mandate to the federal agency dealing with worker safety is what Ruhle was referring to as the “work-around.”
The New York Times claims that OSHA has the authority to issue such a rule, called an emergency temporary standard, “if it can show that workers are exposed to a grave danger and that the rule is necessary to address that danger. The rule must also be feasible for employers to enforce.”
However, the mandates will almost certainly end up in court.
While Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) appeared to make fun of Klain for inadvertently letting the true feelings of the Biden administration out of the bag, several Republican governors said they will not stand for what they believe to be illegal and unconstitutional government overreach in their states.
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves stated,
“The President has no authority to require that Americans inject themselves because of their employment at a private business. The vaccine itself is life-saving, but this unconstitutional move is terrifying. This is still America, and we still believe in freedom from tyrants.”
Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte said, “President Biden’s vaccination mandate is unlawful and un-American. We are committed to protecting Montanans’ freedoms and liberties against this gross federal overreach.”
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem was direct and to the point, “South Dakota will stand up to defend freedom. @JoeBiden see you in court.”
During a visit to a middle school on Friday morning, Biden expressed “disappointment” at GOP governors who have said they will fight the vaccine requirement through legal channels.
Biden stated, “have at it.” He accused GOP governors of being “cavalier” with the health of children and added, “We’re playing for real here, and this isn’t a game, and I don’t know of any scientist out there in this field that doesn’t think it makes considerable sense to do the six things I’ve suggested.”
During his speech on Thursday, Biden spoke of “elected officials and states that are undermining you and these lifesaving actions.” He added an interesting admonition, “If they’ll not help — if these governors won’t help us beat the pandemic, I’ll use my power as President to get them out of the way.”
Biden also stated of the new mandates, “This is not about freedom or personal choice.”
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