After the Supreme Court halted the administration’s broad vaccinate-or-test plan for major companies, President Joe Biden is worried but not given up, pressing forward to persuade individuals to receive COVID-19 vaccinations.

Because of the high number of persons becoming infected with the omicron form and the overcrowding in hospitals, the federal government is hoping that states and businesses would establish their own vaccinating or testing requirements. Vice President Joe Biden plans to utilize the presidential “bully pulpit” if it is still relevant.

While some in the business world celebrated the rejection of the mandate, Vice President Biden stressed that the administration’s efforts had not gone in vain. In its decision on Thursday, the High 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,” he said.

Coronavirus vaccination requirements for firms with more than 100 employees have been largely thrown down by the court’s conservative majority, which ruled in favor of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It did, however, retain in place a need for immunization for health care providers and their employees.

For anyone interested in obtaining a free COVID-19 exam, the White House stated Friday that orders will be accepted starting on Wednesday, March 14. Those tests may encourage some individuals to be vaccinated, and the agency is working to solve countrywide shortages. Only four free tests per household will be available.

“Although COVID–19 is a risk that occurs in many workplaces, it is not an occupational hazard in most,” said the Supreme Court on Thursday in a ruling that OSHA looked to overstep its legislative jurisdiction to impose occupational standards.

The requirement was issued in September, followed by stinging condemnation from Vice President Joe Biden for the approximately 80 million American adults who had not yet received vaccinations.

“We’ve been patient. But our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us,” he said. The unvaccinated minority, he said, “can cause a lot of damage, and they are.”

According to a statement released by Biden after the Supreme Court’s decision, the regulations have already had the expected impact of decreasing adult immunization rates. Biden expressed his unhappiness with the decision.

“Today, that number is down to under 35 million,” he said of the unvaccinated. “Had my administration not put vaccination requirements in place, we would be now experiencing a higher death toll from COVID-19 and even more hospitalizations.”

However, White House officials said that they had no immediate plans to seek a rethink of the law, despite the court leaving the door open for the US to pursue more targeted demands.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday that “It’s now up to the states and individual employers to put in place vaccination requirements.”

White House press secretary Jen Psak
pbs.org

Already, the United States of America is “languishing, ” with a vaccination rate of 60 percent, Georgetown University public health law specialist Lawrence Gostin tells the New York Times.

“The OSHA rule was truly the president’s last best shot at significantly boosting the vaccination rate,’’ Gostin said. But the court, “in a very highly partisan way, intentionally tried to handcuff the president in doing what he needs to do.’’

The majority of big enterprises that had previously implemented vaccination or testing mandates responded that they had no intention of changing course. Nonetheless, smaller businesses indicated they were relieved, anticipating a lack of workers if the OSHA regulation had been permitted to take effect.

The Supreme Court’s ruling has “taken a little bit of a burden of worry off of our shoulders,” said Kyle Caraway, Doolittle Trailer Manufacturing’s marketing director, which joined the Missouri attorney general’s case challenging Biden’s policy. He said that almost all of the company’s 175 workers in Holts Summit, Missouri, had indicated that they will refuse to comply with a vaccine obligation.

According to Caraway, a member of the anti-Biden camp, “It became apparent to us that our team was going to shrink greatly overnight if that vaccine mandate went into place.” If manufacturing had been halted, the firm could have had to “consider shuttering our doors,” according to him.

SIU, which represents above 2 million employees, says the court judgment is a relief for healthcare workers, but it leaves others without vital rights.

“In blocking the vaccine-or-test rule for large employers, the court has placed millions of other essential workers further at risk, caving to corporations that are trying to rig the rules against workers permanently,” the union said.

There should be mandatory vaccines, face masks, and paid sick leave for those who are unwell. According to the union, workers also want improved access to protective and testing equipment.

When more than a million US people are hospitalized with COVID-19 every day, when nearly 800,000 cases and 1,700 deaths are reported each day, and when vaccine resistance persists in states with conservative political cultures such as Mississippi, Wyoming, and Idaho where fewer than half the population has been fully immunized, the debate over vaccination mandates is once again taking center stage.

There is a chronic scarcity of medical personnel in hospitals throughout the country, and as a result, a high volume of patients seeking viral testing in hospital emergency departments. Medical facilities, nursing homes, and testing facilities around the country have called on the National Guard to provide assistance.

A Kansas City-area hospital was forced to borrow ventilators from the Missouri stockpile and search for extra high-flow oxygen equipment, while the state’s biggest county said Friday that it is running out of mortuary space once again.

A decision by the Supreme Court to deny OSHA the authority to regulate anything that would have a significant economic effect might have a significant impact on other federal agencies’ attempts to safeguard public health, according to Gostin. Additionally, he said that the consequences of this decision would not be mitigated by states.

“If COVID has taught us anything, it’s taught us that states can’t deal with big, bold problems, can’t prevent a pathogen from going from Florida to New York,” he said. “These are national problems requiring federal solutions.’’

Vice President Joe Biden is expected to emphasize successful vaccination-or-testing initiatives, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki.“The Court has ruled that my administration cannot use the authority granted to it by Congress to require this measure,” Biden said. So “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.”