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Biden Administration Suspends Enforcement of Vaccine Mandate

November 17, 2021 by Dan McCue
President Joe Biden. (Photo by Dan McCue)

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Wednesday suspended enforcement of a vaccine mandate on private companies with 100 or more employees.

The decision, which was carried out through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, comes less than a week after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted a stay of the mandate.

President Joe Biden had announced the mandate with much fanfare on Nov. 4. 

Under the rule, which would have applied to an estimated 84 million workers, companies with 100 or more employees have to ensure they were fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and that those who weren’t vaccinated would be required to test negative for the coronavirus at least once a week.

The mandate was scheduled to go into effect on Jan 4.

In addition, the policy stipulated that unvaccinated workers must also wear face masks while on the job. That requirement was set to go into effect Dec. 6.

But on Nov. 12, the Fifth Circuit issued an order staying enforcement and implementation of the rule after it reviewed an expedited petition filed by various employers, states, religious groups and individual citizens.

In a brief statement on its website, OSHA said that while it remains confident in its authority to protect workers in emergencies, it has “suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of the ETS pending future developments in the litigation.”

Among those who cheered the decision to put the mandate on hold Wednesday was Idaho Gov. Brad Little.

“The Biden administration is putting his OSHA vaccine mandate on hold, thanks to the states, including Idaho, which are taking a stand against this unprecedented government overreach into the private sector,” Little said in a statement provided to The Well News. “Our work is not done, and we will continue to fight the Biden vaccine mandates, but this is very welcome news for many Idahoans.”

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue

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