A federal court put a halt to the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for health care workers in 10 states, the latest blow in the President’s effort to force Americans to get the COVID series of jabs.
The White House in early November announced a vaccine mandate that would run through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration – or OSHA – and would levy fines of up to $14,000 per violation for companies with more than 100 employees.
It was set to take effect on January 4th.
U.S. District Judge Matthew Schelp, however, decreed that the vaccine mandate exceeds the agency’s authority.
Schelp, who was appointed by President Trump in 2019 and strongly confirmed by the Senate, said the court had found numerous reasons to block the vaccine mandate.
“The nature and breadth of the CMS mandate requires clear authorization from Congress—and Congress has provided none,” he wrote in the opinion.
But aside from congressional authorization, Schelp explains that the vaccine mandate forces health care facilities to “choose between two undesirable choices — providing substandard care or providing no healthcare at all.”
The court ruling describes the administration’s efforts as a “politically and economically vast, federalism-altering, and boundary-pushing mandate” and notes the cost – over $1.3 billion in the first year alone – represents the “heavy hand of the federal government.”
The 10 states relieved by the court’s ruling include Missouri, Nebraska, Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Wyoming, Alaska, South Dakota, North Dakota, and New Hampshire.
The federal court blocking the vaccine mandate in 10 states comes just two weeks after OSHA suspended all implementation and enforcement efforts of the mandate for large businesses.
“While OSHA remains confident in its authority to protect workers in emergencies, OSHA has suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of the ETS pending future developments in the litigation,” a statement reads.
OSHA announced the move following a federal appeals court decision to uphold a stay on the mandate.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit earlier this month temporarily blocked the administration’s coronavirus mandate, suggesting it raises “grave statutory and constitutional issues.”
The Biden administration, despite the court setbacks, has continued to push businesses to implement the mandate.
“Our message to businesses right now is to move forward with measures that will make their workplaces safer and protect their workforces from COVID-19,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters after the Fifth Circuit stay.
On Monday, she was vowing to continue the fight.
“We’re obviously going to abide by the law and fight any efforts in court or otherwise to prevent local authorities, officials, leaders in the health care industry and other industries from protecting their workforces,” Psaki said.
Fox News Tucker Carlson notes that most Americans have complied with the vaccine push under this administration but maintains there has been little success to show for it.
“More Americans have died from COVID in 2021 than died in 2020, before there was a shot,” he said. “There were 362,000 deaths from COVID last year. So far this year, there have been 414,000 deaths.”
“So we gave up everything to fight COVID – we gave up our economy, our culture, our health. We literally stopped educating our own children. We did all of this in order to lower COVID deaths,” Carlson added.
“And yet COVID deaths went up anyway, and went up dramatically.”
Axios is reporting that the administration could appeal this new injunction, sending it to the Eighth Circuit.
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