Commentary

President Joe Biden gives a speech on the lawn of the White House on Friday.

President Joe Biden gives a speech on the lawn of the White House on Friday. (Susan Walsh / AP)

 By Mike Landry  October 11, 2021 at 4:20pm

Get the COVID shot, Joe Biden demanded a few weeks ago.

Each business with over a hundred employees must see that each worker gets the jab, he said.

You must get the shot, Biden reiterated. You must, you must, you must.

Immediately, companies complied. If you’re a nurse and you’ve been a hero through the pandemic, you will be required to get the vaccine. Sorry, if you don’t want to get the shot, you won’t have a job. Bye.

Same to you if you are a police officer, a firefighter, a soldier, a sailor, or a Marine.

You must get the shot — no exceptions.

Wait a minute, some objected. The president can’t just issue an executive order like that. It’s unconstitutional, illegal, immoral, and un-American.

These people are right. Biden cannot issue an executive order of this nature.

According to Bloomberg Law, “Biden this month told the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to write a rule requiring that companies get workers vaccinated or show that the employees test negative for Covid-19 each week.”

Is the Biden administration acting unlawfully by pushing vaccine mandates?

Sonia Zeledón, Hershey Co.’s associate general counsel and head of ethics, compliance and data privacy, told Bloomberg, “It’s a lot easier for us to say that OSHA spells it out this way, and we have to comply. All the companies are looking forward to see how OSHA defines the mandate for us to then follow.”

He isn’t even issuing the order himself — other than in speeches.

The vaccine mandate is nothing more than Joe Biden posturing. In reality, it’s dictatorship by news release, according to an insightful analysis by Joy Pullmann, executive editor of The Federalist.

The Biden administration has said enforcement of vaccine mandates would be by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. But “[t]he White House, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Department of Labor haven’t released any official guidance for the alleged mandate. There is no executive order. There’s nothing but press statements,” Pullman wrote.

So, there’s no mandate. This is why almost two dozen Republican attorneys general who said they would file suit against the mandate have done nothing so far.

Here’s the game Pullmann said the Biden administration is playing: They’re using an obscure procedure known as an emergency temporary standard.

In certain limited circumstances, OSHA says it can invoke an immediate special regulation if “workers are in grave danger due to exposure to toxic substances or agents determined to be toxic or physically harmful or to new hazards and that an emergency standard is needed to protect them.”

Once an emergency temporary standard has been issued, it then appears in the Federal Register for consideration as a permanent regulation. Normal regulation adoption procedures follow, with a final ruling to be made within six months, according to OSHA.

However, the “validity of an emergency temporary standard may be challenged in an appropriate U.S. Court of Appeals.”

Studying lawsuits surrounding an ETS are key because they show the smoke-and-mirrors aspects of Biden’s vaccine mandate strategy.

In 50 years, courts have upheld only one ETS of ten OSHA has put forth, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The legislation creating OSHA “imposes stringent limits on emergency standards precisely so OSHA can’t easily circumvent the ordinary rule-making process,” the Journal reported.

“Courts subject emergency standards to what appellate courts call a ‘hard look’ review, a more stringent standard than for ordinary economic regulations.”

But despite the Biden administration’s imaginary vaccination mandate, big businesses seem delighted to throw unvaccinated employees out the door.

In fact, use of the ETS gives companies a place to hide from angry workers.

“Everybody loves this cover,” Minneapolis employment lawyer Kate Bischoff said, according to Bloomberg Law. “Many were already looking down the road at doing this, but the fact that they get to blame Biden is like manna from heaven.”

Not all companies whose lawyers spoke with Bloomberg Law are completely favorable towards the vaccine mandates. There are some companies with a “mixed reaction,” said Jonathan Segal, a Philadelphia employment lawyer.

“Clients that don’t favor it think it’s impracticable or don’t like it because of the cost,” Segal said.

Whether or not companies are fully onboard with this idea, vaccine mandates are being issued in companies across America.

See how easy that is? No pesky legislation. Not even an executive order.

It’s just Joe Biden and the Democrats telling you — and American businesses — what to do.

For them, this truly is “manna from heaven.”

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Mike Landry, PhD, is a retired business professor. He has been a journalist, broadcaster and church pastor. He writes from Northwest Arkansas on current events and business history.

Mike Landry, PhD, is a retired business professor. He has been a journalist, broadcaster and church pastor. He writes from Northwest Arkansas on current events and business history.

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