The White House is “very confident.” It has the ability to overcome legal challenges to Biden’s vaccine mandate.
According to White House chief of staff Ron Klain, President Joe Biden’s administration is confident that the proposal to require COVID immunizations for workers at some corporations will withstand GOP court challenges.
Klain also stated that the administration will wait for the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to make a decision on booster doses that, if approved, would be “available immediately within 24 hours.”
Some Republican governors have vowed to fight Biden’s announcement last week that private enterprises with 100 or more employees must have them vaccinated or tested for COVID-19.
On Monday, Klain told the Pod Save America podcast that while “the political pushback is something we expected,” “the only way” to return the country to normal is to “truly impose on these sorts of measures to improve the share of the country that is vaccinated.”
With the mandate of immunization for government employees and federal contractors “obviously within his authority,” Klain said he was “quite optimistic” that Biden’s order would hold up legally.
He noted that the most contentious issue is how private companies with more than 100 employees might face OSHA fines if their employees are not vaccinated or tested on a weekly basis.
“What the lawyers have told us is that’s a very common application of OSHA’s jurisdiction to protect the workplace,” Klain said, citing an OSHA rule requiring construction workers to wear hard hats as an example.
Governors and legal experts are discussing whether OSHA’s use of the health, safety, and well-being test to mandate vaccination is an overreach, and if a regulation addressing workplace conditions may be applied to a disease in a reasonable manner.
“We’re in the middle of a pandemic right now, and requiring vaccinations is part of OSHA’s mandate, part of OSHA’s responsibility to keep employees safe on the job,” Klain said.
Biden’s chief of staff was also questioned about a study published in The Lancet that questioned the efficacy of COVID booster shots, which the Biden administration has set a September 20 deadline to implement.
It originates from the COVID-19 task team of the White House. This is a condensed version of the information.