White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki Friday referred to President Biden’s announcement that companies with over 100 employees must force workers to be vaccinated or tested is a means of mandating vaccinations “through certain pathways,” given that the administration can’t simply order Americans to be vaccinated.
“Does the administration consider this latest vaccine mandate for private sector companies to be a workaround for the federal government to require vaccines?” Psaki was asked in a White House press briefing Friday.
“This is a tool and a step that we have legal authority for,” Psaki responded. “But no, we don’t have the ability to tell every American you have to be vaccinated. There’s a means of encouraging it, of mandating it through certain pathways, and that’s exactly what we’ve done.”
The administration, and Psaki on Friday, has sought to characterize the workplace requirement as a health regulation that falls under the purview of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Critics have characterized it as an unconstitutional unilateral federal mandate masquerading as a health provision.
Psaki’s comment comes after White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain was slammed for retweeting MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle’s description