Biden put down the hammer on all federal employees and contractors, saying, “If you want to work for the federal government, get vaccinated. If you want to do business with the federal government, get vaccinated.” Critics say the mandate will potentially force those who haven’t received the vaccine to either go against their convictions or find another means of employment.
Companies that ignore the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) forthcoming vaccine requirements could face up to a $14,000 fine per violation.
The leader of the free world also mandated that all workers at healthcare facilities receiving federal funds (i.e., Medicare or Medicaid reimbursements) must be vaccinated. “If you’re seeking care at a health facility,” Biden said, “you should be able to know that the people treating you are vaccinated.”
The new mandates also increased fines for air travelers who refuse to wear masks.
The President responded to rumors of Republicans threatening to file lawsuits against the Biden administration on Friday morning over the new vaccine mandates, saying, “Have at it. I am so disappointed that, particularly some Republican governors, have been so cavalier with the health of these kids, so cavalier with the health of their communities.”
It’s estimated that over 655,000 people in the United States have died from COVID-19 related symptoms since the onset of the pandemic. The disease is currently killing over 1,000 people per day as the highly contagious delta strain has become widespread. ICUs in hotspots across the nation are overflowing, with many regions surpassing the highest numbers of COVID victims early on in the pandemic. Currently, unvaccinated people account for 90 to 95% of hospitalizations and deaths.
Faith Leaders React
Al Mohler posted his statement as the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s president on Twitter, which read: “We encourage vaccination but oppose mandated vaccination. We are watching the situation closely and fully expect multiple legal challenges to be filed against the President’s announced mandate to private employers. The President’s words and attitude were profoundly unhelpful and his actions will surely be challenged in the courts. We will be in ongoing consultation with the other SBC entities about this matter and our proper response.”