Labor unions have showered praise on U.S. President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 action plan.
Revealed earlier this month, Biden’s action plan includes forcing all private businesses that employ more than 100 people to require the whole staff get the COVID vaccine or have them tested at least once a week.
It’s something that AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler believes should be done.
“The resurgence of COVID-19 requires swift and immediate action, and we commend President Biden for taking additional steps to help put an end to this crisis,” stated Shuler. “Everyone should be vaccinated—as one step in stopping the pandemic. Workers and unions should have a voice in shaping these policies. Workplace COVID-19 safety plans should also include mitigation measures like ventilation, removing infected individuals, masking and training workers. These are necessary to prevent exposures and, in combination with vaccines, will get us out of this pandemic.”
As part of the plan, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) work in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to vaccinate those who work in health care. This includes the expansion of mandates for nursing home workers. Biden also said he would expand industrial capacity to help support COVID-19 recovery efforts including more production of masks.
American Public Health Association (APHA) Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD, pointed out that the increase in coronavirus cases can be attributed to those who refuse to get injected.
“This is now a pandemic of the unvaccinated, and it is spilling over into our children, who cannot yet get their shots,” said Benjamin. “The solution is to get everyone who is eligible their vaccinations. The president’s plan can achieve that, and we are here to help. We call on those who have spread misinformation and distractions to put aside their negativity and work productively to move our nation forward.”
Biden’s plan also mandates that all federal employees receive the COVID vaccine. Refusing to do so would result in fines of up to $14,000.
But Republicans have promised to push back against the mandate. The House Freedom Caucus, which includes Congress Members Jim Jordan, Louie Gohmert Debbie Lesko, released a statement labeling the policy “tyrannical.”
“The House Freedom Caucus opposes federal mask and vaccine mandates,” said House Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs. “President Biden’s invasive and unAmerican vaccine mandate is another attempt by the Biden Regime to expand its control over American’s daily lives.”
National Education Association President Becky Pringle doesn’t see anything unAmerican about the plan. She said that she’s proud that nearly 90% of all NEA members are fully vaccinated.
“Educators remain committed to working together to ensure our local schools are the safest places in the community for every student, educator and family,” stated Pringle. “As students and educators go back to school this year, we are focused on keeping students safe, learning and engaged. That is why the National Education Association strongly supports President Biden’s new COVID-19 vaccinate-or-test requirements in workplaces with 100 or more employees and call for state vaccination requirements for all educators.
Some Republican governors have threatened the Biden administration with lawsuits over the federal mandate. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey are among those who said they’re looking into all the ways they can fight back. Ducey took to social media to express his disappointment with having to take legal action.
“This dictatorial approach is wrong, un-American and will do far more harm than good,” Ducey stated on Twitter. “How many workers will be displaced? How many kids kept out of classrooms? How many businesses fined? The vaccine is and should be a choice.”