COVID-19 deaths and cases in the U.S. have climbed back to levels not seen since last winter, erasing months of progress and potentially bolstering President Joe Biden’s argument for his sweeping new vaccination requirements.
The cases — driven by the delta variant combined with resistance among some Americans to getting the vaccine — are concentrated mostly in the South.
President Biden announced on Thursday that his administration will require employers with more than 100 employees to mandate vaccines or weekly testing — a move that will affect more than 80 million workers. Federal employees, contractors of federal agencies, and staff at all healthcare facilities that receive funding from Medicare or Medicaid will also be required to show proof of vaccination.
But what gives the president the authority to do that? That’s our latest Ask A COVID Question, "Can a president force unvaccinated people to get the shots."
The right of the government to impose vaccines was established since at least 1904 – in a ruling that required adults to be vaccinated against smallpox.
Legal experts say in situations like this, where we are in the middle of a health emergency, courts recognize that they lack the intuitional competency to make judgements about what’s in the best interest of public health and safety.
The Biden administration says its committed to pulling every lever possible to fight the pandemic.
Ultimately the choice is yours. To the extent somebody does not want to get a vaccination, they’re not going to get fired as long as they mask and are tested on a weekly basis.
The requirements have met with resistance and threats of lawsuits from Republicans.