Federal judge blocks Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal employees

- LIFE SITE NEWS - Calvin Freiburger - JAN 21, 2022 -

'Stopping the spread of COVID-19 will not be achieved by overbroad policies like the federal-worker mandate.'


(LifeSiteNews) — The Biden administration’s vaccine mandates suffered another setback Friday with a federal judge in Texas issuing another injunction against the policy, on top of the block already imposed by the U.S. Supreme Court.


In September, President Joe Biden directed the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) to draft a rule to “require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work,” as well as a mandate for around 17 million healthcare workers at medical facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding and one for federal contractors which accounts for roughly a fifth of the U.S. labor market. The health worker and contractor mandates contain no testing option.


The mandates provoked a litany of lawsuits that eventually brought them before the Supreme Court, which last week opted to block the employer mandate while allowing the health worker mandate to remain in effect pending final resolution of the case. In response, Biden has urged businesses to voluntarily impose their own vaccine mandates.


On Friday, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Brown, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, ruled against the mandate for federal workers, citing the Supreme Court’s judgment against the mandate for private workers.


“The Supreme Court has expressly held that a COVID-19 vaccine mandate is not an employment regulation,” Brown said. “And that means the President was without statutory authority to issue the federal-worker mandate.”


“While vaccines are undoubtedly the best way to avoid serious illness from COVID-19,” he claimed, “there is no reason to believe that the public interest cannot be served via less restrictive measures than the mandate, such as masking, social distancing, or part- or full-time remote work. Stopping the spread of COVID-19 will not be achieved by overbroad policies like the federal-worker mandate.”


The White House responded that it intends to appeal the ruling to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, Fox News reports, which in turn could lead to the case reaching the Supreme Court.


COVID vaccine hesitancy persists in large part from the rushed nature of the shots developed by Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson under the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed initiative, led to them being released in a tenth of the time vaccine development usually takes and a quarter of the time it took the previous record-holder, the mumps vaccine, yet their advocates have done little to address concerns.


Vaccine defenders stress that this one-year development period was not starting from scratch, but rather relied on years of prior research into mRNA technology; and that one of the innovations of Operation Warp Speed was conducting various aspects of the development process concurrently rather than sequentially, eliminating delays unrelated to safety. However, those factors do not fully account for the condensing of clinical trial phases — each of which can take anywhere from 1-3 years on their own — to just three months apiece.


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