President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the Delta variant and his administration’s efforts to increase vaccinations from the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., September 9, 2021. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
President Biden has a dilemma. He was elected on a promise to “shut down the virus,” but eight months into his presidency, COVID-19 is still raging. With his approval ratings cratering, he is desperate to garner headlines for taking bold action. And so, just weeks after his deserved rebuke by the Supreme Court over his eviction moratorium, he has once again gone too far.
On Thursday, Biden announced a series of unilateral actions aimed at increasing the percentage of Americans who are vaccinated. We obviously do not dispute the idea that it would be a good thing if more people were vaccinated, as the shots have proven to be safe and highly effective at nearly eliminating the risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19. But the issue here is not what outcomes we may prefer, but what authority Biden has as president.
As chief executive, it is one thing for Biden to require vaccination for federal workers, or even for private companies