Biden, pending OSHA rule, urges companies to demand vaccines

President Biden on Thursday called on private companies to force coronavirus vaccinations on employees, asking them to take the initiati...


President Biden on Thursday called on private companies to force coronavirus vaccinations on employees, asking them to take the initiative in an effort he announced last month to need 80 million American workers to get the hang of goes through a lengthy rulemaking process and may not go into effect for weeks.

The president, speaking at a construction site outside of Chicago, said encouraging Americans to get vaccinated had helped, but it had not gone far enough to fight the pandemic.

“Even after all of these efforts, we still have over a quarter of people in the United States who are eligible for vaccinations but have not been vaccinated,” Mr. Biden said. “That’s why I had to evolve towards the requirements.

He said warrants were not his first instinct, but the demands “were already proving they worked.”

Mr Biden said in September he would use the full strength of his presidency to push some 80 million American workers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, reaching the private sector to mandate that all companies with more than 100 employees require vaccination or weekly testing. He ordered the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to write new rule that would make those demands enforceable, a process that White House officials said would take at least three or four weeks.

The president said on Thursday the rule would be put in place quickly, but officials familiar with the process said it would likely take several weeks.

In the meantime, Mr Biden has sought to shift the responsibility to business, which he said would help pull the United States out of the pandemic: “Business has more power than ever to change the arc of this pandemic. and save lives. “

A report released by the White House Thursday and shared with business groups sought to show how vaccination warrants had helped persuade more people to receive their vaccines: 78% of eligible adults received at least their first dose, and the data published in September show unvaccinated Americans 11 times more likely than vaccinated people die from Covid-19.

Several large companies – such as 3M, AT&T and Procter & Gamble – as well as several of the largest U.S. aerospace and defense companies – including Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman – have said they will apply the new requirements, according to a report released by the White House Thursday.

Mr. Biden chose to visit the Chicago area in part because it is home to United Airlines, one of the first major carriers to demand pictures for its 67,000 American employees. Other airlines followed with similar requirements, including American Airlines, Southwest, JetBlue and Alaska Airlines. The president spoke at a site controlled by Clayco, a construction company that required vaccines and tests for its employees.

IBM said Thursday it would require all of its U.S. employees to be fully immunized by December 8, regardless of how often they walk into the office. It will allow “limited” medical or religious exceptions. The company is one of a number of others with federal contractors facing their own vaccine mandates, which are expected to go into effect on December 8. These guidelines are stricter than the rules proposed for private employers and have no possibility for the unvaccinated to undergo regular testing. instead of being inoculated. But they could encourage companies with both groups of workers, like IBM and many airlines, to introduce more comprehensive vaccine mandates.

A White House official said the administration expected many companies to eventually announce vaccination-only policies.

Still, retailers are eyeing the holiday season, which is crucial to their annual sales and for which finding labor was a challenge due to the pandemic. Some employers have expressed concern that the warrants could further reduce staff who have already been beaten, especially in hospitals and other health care facilities. So far, the fears that the warrants may cause widespread exodus of disgruntled health workers have been widely shown to be exaggerated.

“When you see the headlines and the news of massive layoffs and hundreds of people losing their jobs, look at the big picture,” Biden said.

Other companies, like JPMorgan Chase and Walmart, have yet to issue general requirements. OSHA standards would force reluctant companies to introduce warrants.

“I know of a few large companies that are ready to send the email to all the employees, and they are waiting for this thing to come out,” said Joseph Allen, associate professor at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health who advises companies on Covid-19 strategies. “If they spend the next two months getting the wording 100% on rule making, that defeats the purpose.”

An OSHA rule would ease the pressure on employers by giving them clear direction, experts say, but the agency must first establish standards that pass the legal course.

Several Republican governors have said they will challenge a formalized vaccine mandate. Texas Governor Greg Abbott said in September that his state “is already working to end this takeover.” Governor Mike Parson of Missouri called the tenure “potentially dangerous” for working families. Arizona Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed a complaint against OSHA rule and threatened attorneys general with 23 other states could follow suit.

“I know the vaccination requirements are tough drugs,” Biden said Thursday, responding to some of the criticisms. “Unpopular with some. Politics for others. But they save lives. They are a game changer for our country.

Experts have said legal challenges to the rule are all but assured, but the precedent is most likely on Mr Biden’s side. Over the past 20 years, “every standard challenged in the courts has been upheld by federal judges,” said David Michaels, a professor at the George Washington University School of Public Health who headed OSHA under the Obama administration. a meeting.

OSHA also has the power to quickly issue a rule, known as a Temporary Emergency Standard, if it can show workers are in serious danger and the rule is needed to remedy it. The rule must also be able to be applied by employers.

The rule-making process, overseen by a dozen agency officials and a team of lawyers, includes a number of time-consuming steps guard against legal challenges. Officials only received about a week’s notice before Mr Biden’s announcement, according to an official familiar with the directive.

OSHA also works through the long list of questions that business groups have sent out to seek advice on the finer points of vaccine mandates, including concerns about who will pay for testing and whether booster shots will also be mandatory. The agency is also developing guidelines that would require employers to provide paid time off to receive and recover from vaccinations, as ordered by Biden.

“Between doing it right and making sure employers can actually comply, and also making sure it will stand up to a legal challenge, I think it can take a bit of time,” said Jordan Barab, former OSHA Deputy Assistant Secretary, in a statement. maintenance. “It’s not an easy thing to do.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: Biden, pending OSHA rule, urges companies to demand vaccines
Biden, pending OSHA rule, urges companies to demand vaccines
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