Biden vows to advance Covid vaccine after Supreme Court ruling on vaccine mandate

A healthcare worker prepares a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine syringe at a temporary vaccination site operated by SOMOS Community Care during the COVID-19 pandemic in Manhattan, New York, on January 29, 2021.

Mike Segar | Reuters

A Supreme Court ruling barring the Biden administration from administering the Covid vaccine to employees of large employers will not stop U.S. companies from requiring their workers to be vaccinated.

President Joe Biden on Thursday vowed to push companies to do so to save American lives and avert even greater financial fallout from the two-year-old coronavirus pandemic.

“The court has ruled that my administration cannot use the authority granted to it by Congress to demand this measure, but that does not prevent me from using my voice as president to advocate for employers to do the right thing to protect the health and economy of Americans. “, Biden said in a statement.

“I call on business leaders to immediately join those who have already stepped up, including a third of the Fortune 100 companies, and introduce vaccination requirements to protect their workers, customers and communities,” Biden said.

Earlier Thursday, the Supreme Court blocked a rule issued in the fall by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that required companies with at least 100 employees to either vaccinate workers against Covid-19 or wear masks at work and test negative for the coronavirus. virus at least once a week.

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The High Court in its decision stated that while Congress gave OSHA the power to regulate occupational hazards, the agency did not have the power to “regulate public health more broadly”.

The National Retail Trust called the decision a “significant victory” for employers.

The NRF statement notes that this week it joined more than two dozen other trade associations to make oral arguments against the mandate, which it called “burdensome and unprecedented.”

But the Retail Foundation also said it “maintains a strong and consistent stance on the importance of vaccines in tackling this pandemic.”

And, anticipating Biden’s later statement on the decision, the NRF said it “calls on the Biden administration to abandon this illegal mandate and instead work with employers, workers, and public health experts on practical ways to boost vaccination rates and mitigate the spread of the virus in 2022.” G.”

Starbucks said last month that all American employees of the giant coffee chain must be vaccinated by February 9 or get tested.

Previously, major employers, including American Express, Amtrak, Citigroup, General Electric, Google, Jeffries, NBCUniversal, Southwest Airlines, Tyson Foods and United Airlines, have required employees to be vaccinated, or at least those returning to regular offices.

This is an evolving story. Keep for updates.

Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of CNBC.

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