As Joe Biden’s various vaccine mandates are being stopped in place by federal courts around the country, he is reportedly suspending his mandate on federal workers voluntarily.
A memo from the White House Office of Management and Budget instructs agencies that they should hold up on firing or suspending federal workers for refusing to comply with the vaccine mandate until after the holiday season.
As the public becomes more frustrated and impatient with mandates amid news that the vaccines are less effective than advertised against transmission and infection, the administration is reportedly considering pulling back on additional mandates.
Reports indicate that 92 percent of federal workers have received at least one dose of the vaccine. It remains unclear how many workers are fully vaccinated as required by the administration. If the number of non-fully vaccinated federal workers is anywhere near the 40 percent estimate applicable to the general population, strict enforcement of Biden’s rule would either shut down large parts of the federal government or clearly show how truly “non-essential” much of what the government does is.
The Biden mandate on health care workers nationwide suffered a new setback on Tuesday, as a federal court in Louisiana blocked the mandate nationwide. The order works in combination with a similar injunction from a federal court in Missouri to stop enforcement of the mandate in every state.
The order was issued by U.S. District Court Judge Terry Doughty and will remain in place pending further hearings in his court or orders on appeal to higher courts. His order provides that it is “important to preserve the status quo,” saying that the “liberty interests of the unvaccinated require nothing less.” Judge Doughty was appointed to the federal bench in 2017 by President Donald Trump.
Private employers can still require vaccines for health care workers. On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court turned down an application from workers in Massachusetts to block a private hospital system’s mandate. The entire court did not hear that request, but only by Justice Stephen Breyer based on the court’s method to assign applications from different states to particular justices.