It’s been over a month since Joe Biden’s September 9 announcement that he ordered a national vaccine mandate for private employers with more than 100 employees. Biden’s grand design used the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to develop a new “emergency” rule to require proof of vaccination from businesses.
The method of enforcement chosen by the White House was called the “ultimate workaround” by some commenters, acknowledging that the plan had some substantial practical and legal hurdles ahead. Of course, Biden’s announcement followed his previous statement that the executive branch had the authority to impose a private vaccine requirement.
Now, weeks later, the promised OSHA rule has not been put into effect. The New York Times reported last week that the rule is likely still weeks away from being enacted.
If the Biden administration had been seriously committed to the OSHA rule method of implementing a vaccine mandate, it seems they would have hammered out the legal issues in advance. The way it appears to have been handled is reminiscent of withdrawing troops from Afghanistan before evacuating civilians.
Many large U.S. employers are waiting for the actual language of the promised OSHA rule to be released to require proof of vaccinations from employees. Others have begun laying out deadlines for providing evidence of vaccines in anticipation of the rule.
Many commentators have openly speculated whether Biden’s plan from the beginning was to try increasing vaccination numbers simply by threatening a rule he knew he couldn’t reasonably expect to get enacted and upheld in the courts.
OSHA has nowhere near the administrative capacity to police a nationwide mandate, with around 1,850 inspectors responsible for more than 8 million workstations around the country.
While the corporate media has been busily worrying employers to prepare for the mandate, preferably by voluntarily imposing a mandate, it remains unclear what, if any, concrete steps OSHA has taken so far even to begin the emergency rule-making process.