President Joe Biden’s recent move to require millions of workers to get vaccinated or tested weekly could create avenues for more people to return to the office and return to a workplace that’s closer to normal, businesses and experts said.

Biden on Sept. 9 ordered the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to create rules requiring companies with 100 workers or more to require either vaccination or weekly testing of employees.

The Question of the Week is: Should the president be able to create federal mandates that require businesses to require employees to be vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID tests?

• Yes

• No

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(40) comments

Susan Fennewald

It could be argued that any business that engages in interstate trade (buying or selling across state lines) could be subject to federal rules aimed at preventing interruption of interstate trade lines. Certainly federal employees should fall victim to federal mandates. And the military - they get vaccinated for EVERYTHING - so they should certainly be vaccinated for COVID.

I like to see minimal federal interference, on the other hand, the situation is ridiculous with unvaccinated people preventing us from moving beyond this pandemic.

I'm just feeling very frustrated.

Carlos Ponce

Look at those exempt from the mandate. "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others ".


Susan Fennewald

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others ".That's always true.

Who's exempt?

Carlos Ponce

At the top of the list all members of Congress and their staffs. Add to that illegal aliens who turn themselves in to border agents. A test and/or vaccine is made available but rejected by many (30% according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement).

Of course those who don't turn themselves in exempt themselves from the mandate and all US laws.

Susan Fennewald

That's not much of an exemption list.

Carlos Ponce

There's more. I'd hate to post them then have them use their political pressure to gain an exemption like the postal workers did.

Ted Gillis

Here’s Carlos again, finding that .001% to base his argument claim against the whole.

Carlos Ponce

The numbers do not refute my statement, Ted Gillis.

Bailey Jones

Perhaps the simplest way to answer this question is to see where we're headed in the absence of such a mandate:

Week ending - US Deaths per week

8/1 - 2512

8/8 - 3603

8/15 - 4631

8/22 - 7007

8/29 - 8999

9/5 - 10817

9/12 - 11451

9/19 - 14028

We've seen this before. These deaths are overwhelmingly the unvaccinated portion of our population. The death rate is climbing at an average rate of 28% per week. We've lost 63,000 Americans in just the last 7 weeks. We're on track to lose another 60,000 in the next 4 weeks. Last year's huge winter spike began at Thanksgiving, which is about 8 weeks from now.

It's hard to even care about the unvaccinated anymore, but I still care about all the kids and medically compromised people who can't get vaccinated. The fact that so many Americans are standing idly by while thousands of us die every single day turns my stomach. Where are all these "patriots" I keep hearing about?

We need a federal vaccine mandate. It will save tens of thousands of American lives, at the very least.

Carlos Ponce

What Bailey fails to mention are deaths from the Chinese Virus from those who WERE vaccinated.

Bailey Jones

Read it again Car[lol]s, try not to be so stupid this time.

Susan Fennewald

The fact that a few people who have been vaccinated still die, does not address the issue of whether people should get vaccinated or not. I don't think anyone refutes the fact that the vast majority of people now being hospitalized and dying from COVID are NOT vaccinated.

Carlos Ponce

We don't have updated numbers. So who's to say it's a "few"?

Carlos Ponce

For the record, as reported on July 30, 2021 "At least 125,000 fully vaccinated Americans have tested positive for Covid and 1,400 of those have died, according to data collected by NBC News."

Considering the age of the data collected, that was more than three months ago. 1400 was considered a tiny percentage back then. Why hasn't the US government updated or even reported these post vaccine pandemic deaths? Pure politics. They want to portray Joe Biden as having conquered the pandemic. We need an update.

Ted Gillis

Yes, we need an update so Carlos can feel good.

Bailey Jones

Ted, the update won't make Car[lol]s feel any better.

"Fatal COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough cases reported to CDC as of September 13, 2021":

Deaths among the vaccinated since January - 3,040

Deaths among the unvaccinated in just the last 7 weeks - 60,000.

I guess now we'll have to wait for the update to the update.

But, hey, I get it. The vaccine was developed under Trump, so naturally it's suspect. We were all wary, and rightfully so. But it's been proven in the lab and in more than a billion human bodies. So I don't understand why Car[lol]s can't just let go of his anti-Trump hatred and admit that the Trump Vaccine is a HUUUUGE success - one that could truly Make America Great Again. Enough with the Trump hating, Car[lol]s!!!

Carlos Ponce

The people who were vaccinated were assured at the time they could go maskless and any resulting infection would have mild or no effects . So sad![sad]

Bailey Jones

Aww - see Ted, now you've gone and made Car[lol]s sad. I guess he doesn't realize that the Trump Vaccine, which was designed to fight the alpha variant, has done it's job. But due to Car[lol]s and other like minded Trump hating idiots, we couldn't get everyone vaccinated before the virus mutated into a much more dangerous strain. Said idiots are now positioning us to be in even more danger when the next, worse, variant emerges.

It just doesn't seem fair to Trump that all these Trump haters are spoiling the Trump legacy - he could have gone down in history as the man who saved America from a deadly pandemic. Now he's just the guy who couldn't even get his own supporters to take his own vaccine. So sad! [lol][lol][lol]

Nick Saum

I wonder if the moderators of this board would allow people fiercely advocating having children drink bleach for their health, the same as they allow people to keep pushing a false narrative about COVID and vaccines which is just as dangerous. Ignorance can rage like a wildfire and while free speech is important, it has limits, like screaming fire in a crowded movie theater.

Carlos Ponce

"people fiercely advocating having children drink bleach for their health"

No one has ever recommended that. Where did you get that idea? Oh yes.... Biden.

"And when it comes to COVID-19, after months of doing nothing, other than predicting the virus would disappear, or maybe if you drank bleach you may be okay, Trump has simply given up," said Biden, who delivered his remarks at a metalworks factory near his hometown of Scranton.

Politifact states, "No, Trump didn’t tell Americans infected with the coronavirus to drink bleach".

So Nick Saum may have gotten that idea from Lyin' Biden.

Or if you live in a city which chlorinates their water...

"Water chlorination is the process of adding chlorine or chlorine compounds such as sodium hypochlorite to water. "

"the active ingredient in Clorox bleach is sodium hypochlorite"

Is that where you got that idea? Most people today and their children drink filtered or bottled water.

Nick Saum

Thanks for proving my point. Cheers.

Carlos Ponce

Your "point" was debunked... unless you consider drinking chlorinated city water as "healthy". I know of no one making that claim.

Gary Scoggin

Should the President be able to do this? That’s not an opinion question. It’s a fact question. The answer, pending SCOTUS interpretation is a qualified yes.

Suggested follow up questions.

Should the President actually do this? No. Just because he is able doesn’t make it a good idea.

Should private employers be able to require covid vaccinations of employees? Yes.

Should a Governor block private employers from doing same? No.

Carlos Ponce

SCOTUS in previous decisions have placed preventative heath measures in the hands of the states.

Gary Scoggin

In this case it gets down to emergency measures allowed under the Occupational

Health and Safety Act and how that language applies here. I’ve seen legal analyses that go both ways but the consensus seems to be that this measure is allowable under the act. It’s definitely an issue for SCOTUS to sort out. The shame is that it should be Congress setting this policy but both parties have abdicated their responsibility to legislate.

Carlos Ponce

I provided the link to the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1970 and there is no such provision. It does provide the president appointing three commissioners.

In case of emergency the only way it could be done legally is by declaring martial law.

Jim Forsythe

OSHA has the authority to issue new health and safety standards. The standards-setting process is typically completed through a series of steps that can include evaluations by committees, consultations with small businesses, and a window for public input.

However, OSHA also has the power to skip the usual bureaucratic process and implement an emergency temporary standard (ETS), according to the agency.

In the COVID-19 action plan announced by the White House , Biden specifically directed OSHA to issue an ETS for the private sector vaccine mandate.

It also is addressed in the OSHA General Duty Clause:

Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (the "General Duty Clause") requires an employer to furnish to its employees: "employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees..."

Carlos Ponce

Jim posts, "OSHA has the authority to issue new health and safety standards. " - not Biden.[beam]

Jim Forsythe

Biden specifically directed OSHA to issue an ETS for the private sector vaccine mandate.

OSHA's administrator answers to the Secretary of Labor, who is a member of the cabinet of the President of the United States, who answers to the President.

Gary Scoggin

Carlos -- As I know you taught math, not government, maybe a little civics lesson here would be useful. There are three branches of government, Administrative, Legislative and Judicial. The President (that's Joe Biden, at least up until the coup or whatever it is you've been predicting since Election Day happens.) leads the Administrative branch, of which OSHA is part.

As the Head of the Administrative Branch of Government, the President (again, Joe Biden, at least for the time being) can direct the Administrator of OSHA to perform actions authorized by Congress (i.e., the Legislative Branch). If there is a disagreement as to whether or not the Administrative Branch (again, led by Biden) properly administers a law passed by Congress (i.e., the Legislative Branch), then the Judicial Branch (up to and including the Supreme Court of the United States, led by Chief Justice John Roberts) decides as to the disagreement.

Do, to recap, Current President Joe Biden can direct OSHA to issue a regulation (on an emergency basis or otherwise) based upon the language of laws passed by Congress. The Judiciary will then rule as to whether or not OSHA (and be extention the current President) acted properly.

I hope this clears things up for you.

Carlos Ponce

I know about the three branches, Gary Scoggin. One of our Liberal forum posters one stated the three branches were "the president, the House and the Senate" so I had to explain it to him.

Osha does not have to obey a law that is un-Constitutional. Oh wait, were ARE talking about DEMOCRATS. Never mind....

Gary Scoggin

OSHA doesn't get to determine what's constitutional and what isn't. That's the Judical branch's job. (See my discussion above.) If the OSHA Administrator has been given a directive from the Secretary of Labor who got it from the President, they follow it. There are exceptions and boundaries of course but on matters of policy the regulatory agencies pretty much do what they are told to do. That's why you see courts throw out regulations all of the time.

I know that no one here is as smart as you think you are but some of this have actually participated in this kind of stuff and may - just may - know what we are talking about.

One thing I find annoying yet amusing about you, Carlos, is your inability to admit a mistake. Are you modeling the behavior of the former guy or have you always been this way?

Jim Forsythe

Jacobson v. Massachusetts, makes it Constitutional.

Carlos Ponce

Like I stated, SCOTUS gives STATES the right to set health guidelines, not the Feds. Massachusetts is a STATE.

In Jacobson v.Massachusetts (1905), the Supreme Court upheld a state's mandatory compulsory smallpox vaccination law.

STATE, STATE, STATE Get it Jim?????

Read it for yourself:

Jim Forsythe

OSHA is Federal, and it enforces rules for all the USA, get it!

The Executive Branch can cite Section 361 of the Public Health Service Act (or PHSA), which allows the Department of Health and Human Services or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to make necessary measures “to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries into the States or possessions, or from one State or possession into any other State or possession.”

Carlos Ponce

Wait until it hits the Supreme Court, Jim. Liberals are taking the Constitution and wiping their rear on it.

Jim Forsythe

In the case known as Jacobson v. Massachusetts, Jacobson’s lawyers argued that the Cambridge vaccination order was a violation of their client’s 14th Amendment rights, which forbade the state from “depriv[ing] any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” At question, then, was whether the “right to refuse vaccination” was among those protected personal liberties. The Supreme Court rejected Jacobson’s argument and dealt the anti-vaccination movement a stinging loss. Writing for the majority, Justice John Marshall Harlan acknowledged the fundamental importance of personal freedom, but also recognized that “the rights of the individual in respect of his liberty may at times, under the pressure of great dangers, be subjected to such restraint, to be enforced by reasonable regulations, as the safety of the general public may demand.”

This decision established what became known as the “reasonableness” test. The government had the authority to pass laws that restricted individual liberty, if those restrictions—including the punishment for violating them—were found by the Court to be a reasonable means for achieving a public good.

Bailey Jones

Jim, one wonders how the federal government was ever able to compel military service, what with all these "freedom thinkers" running around.

Carlos Ponce

Bailey posts, "Jim, one wonders how the federal government was ever able to compel military service, what with all these 'freedom thinkers' running around."

Second Amendment : "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State...." establishes military service.

In Heller v DC, we read:

"The 'militia' comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense."

In Clay (Muhammad Ali) v United States "the court said the record shows that [Ali's] beliefs are founded on tenets of the Muslim religion as he understands them."

The Court overturned his conviction of draft evasion.

Clay v. United States, 403 U.S. 698, 703

Carlos Ponce

"While the exclusion of evidence in the state court in a case involving the constitutionality of a state statute may not strictly present a Federal question, this court may consider the rejection of such evidence upon the ground of incompetency or immateriality under the statute as showing its scope and meaning in the opinion of the state court.

The police power of a State embraces such reasonable regulations relating TO MATTERS COMPLETELY WITHIN ITS TERRITORY, and not affecting the people of other States, established directly by legislative enactment, as will protect the public health and safety."

Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905) Syllabus

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