WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Labor today released its emergency rule imposing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate on private employers. The rule sets a Jan. 4, 2022, deadline for employers with more than 100 workers to require they get the COVID-19 vaccine or weekly testing.
The Heritage Foundation hosted an event on Biden’s general COVID-19 vaccine mandate Thursday featuring U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Heritage senior fellow Doug Badger and senior legal research fellow Paul Larkin, and Dr. Martin Makary, professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Click here to watch video from the event.
Heritage’s Badger and Larkin released the following statement Thursday in response to the Labor Department’s rule.
“The requirements that have come out from the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration are way out of its authority. This rule will not withstand legal scrutiny.
“As we have detailed in a comprehensive legal analysis, Congress did not grant OSHA any authority to establish a vaccine mandate. Even the Health and Human Services Department, which has regulatory jurisdiction over vaccines, does not have the authority to issue a general, nationwide vaccine mandate.
“The Biden administration is way out of bounds on this inappropriate overreach of government decision-making. Our nation has dealt with other pandemics, including polio and smallpox for which we have vaccines, without ever imposing a general vaccine mandate.
“Nor has any federal agency claimed authority for such a sweeping requirement. Even when Congress gave OSHA narrow authority to help health care facilities deal with bloodborne pathogens, the agency did not mandate that health care workers be immunized.
“Policymakers should focus on ending this pandemic with clear data that trusts Americans to make decisions about their health with their doctor, not insert their employer into policing these decisions.”