President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the coronavirus response and vaccinations during a speech at the White House, August 23, 2021. (Leah Millis/Reuters) The administration’s vaccine mandate is likely yet another episode of legally unauthorized Biden overreach that could impair economic growth.
The most far-reaching and questionable part of the Biden administration’s six-pronged COVID-19 Action Plan directs the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue an emergency temporary standard (ETS) mandating that private employers with 100 or more employees ensure that all employees are fully vaccinated or undergo weekly negative COVID-19 tests with potentially hefty fines for each violation. While the specific ETS provisions and requirements are as yet unknown, this new directive — which will affect more than 80 million private-sector workers — is probably yet another episode of legally unauthorized Biden overreach that could impair economic growth.
Vaccination is the most effective way to limit the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 and to mitigate the severity of the disease. As I discussed in an October 2020 study for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, well-established precedent gives states broad authority to issue vaccine mandates. Employers also have the