The Supreme Court’s ruling against the Biden vaccine mandate for large employers was not only a devastating blow to the administration, but it did major damage to the media’s narrative about Covid vaccines.
The White House on Thursday pivoted to dismiss the Supreme Court ruling as the end of the vaccine mandate and continued to urge major companies to further the administration’s corporatist policies.
“The Supreme Court’s decision on the OSHA mandate essentially means that in this pandemic it is up to individual employers to determine whether their workplaces will be safe for employees,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki claimed. “And whether their business will be safe for consumers.”
“So, President Biden, you will see this in his statement, will be calling on and will continue to call on businesses to immediately join those that have already stepped up, including one-third of Fortune 500 companies,” she continued. “To institute vaccination requirements to protect their workers, protect their customers and communities.”
The White House issued that statement on Thursday evening.
“As a result of the Court’s decision, it is now up to States and individual employers to determine whether to make their workplaces as safe as possible for employees, and whether their businesses will be safe for consumers during this pandemic by requiring employees to take the simple and effective step of getting vaccinated,” the president said in a statement.
He added that the Supreme Court ruling “does not stop me from using my voice as President to advocate for employers to do the right thing to protect Americans’ health and economy.”
“I call on business leaders to immediately join those who have already stepped up – including one third of Fortune 100 companies – and institute vaccination requirements to protect their workers, customers, and communities,” Biden said.
Except that major corporations are already deciding that they do not want to continue to run the best and brightest out of their industries, while continuing to wreak major unnecessary disruption in their companies.
General Electric Co on Friday said “it has suspended COVID-19 vaccine or test requirement for employees after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling,” Reuters reported.
In December, numerous companies suspended their vaccine mandates during a lower court’s stay pending the Supreme Court’s decision.
“A growing number of health care systems and other companies, including Amtrak and General Electric, are suspending mandates that require employees to be vaccinated against Covid-19,” NBC reported.
“Most employers do not have the luxury of losing 5 percent or 10 percent or whatever percent of their workforce doesn’t want to get vaccinated,” said Barron, who works with the law firm Cozen O’Connor. “In this environment, it’s very tough, especially in jobs like health care or other industries where it’s a very tight labor market.”
The Supreme Court, meanwhile, did not strike down the Biden vaccine mandates for federally funded healthcare providers.
In Florida, where major hospitals have suspended their vaccine mandates pending the Supreme Court’s decision, however, there is already pushback against the court’s ruling.
“Honestly, Roberts and Kavanaugh didn’t have a backbone on that decision,” DeSantis said. “That’s the bottom line.”
On Thursday, Tampa Bay Times reporter Kirby Wilson asked DeSantis spokesperson Christina Pushaw on the Supreme Court’s ruling.
“I asked [Governor Ron DeSantis] spokesperson Christina Pushaw whether Florida planned to comply with the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for health care facilities for the time being in light of today’s Supreme Court ruling,” Kirby wrote.
“Here’s some of what she said: ‘The State of Florida is not going to serve as the Biden administration’s biomedical police. Firing unvaccinated healthcare workers, many of whom have infection-conferred immunity, is unethical and unscientific on its face.”
“This policy directly harms patients as well, because hospitals in California and other states are now requiring vaccinated, Covid-positive healthcare workers to treat patients due to staffing shortages — which were exacerbated by vaccine mandates,” she added. “How does that keep anyone safe?” she asked.
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.