Vaccine mandate news – live: Biden ‘disappointed’ Supreme Court blocked ‘common-sense life-saving’ Covid rule

Joe Biden gives an update on federal surge response to Omicron

The Supreme Court has tossed out a Biden administration vaccine mandate that would have required 80 million workers to either get vaccinated or submit to regular testing.

In a blow to the president’s push to get more Americans vaccinated, the ruling comes as health experts believe that the US may be approaching the peak of the latest wave of Covid-19 brought on by the highly contagious Omicron variant.

Meanwhile, Dr Anthony Fauci has defended remarks made during a recent hearing of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director was heard calling Senator Roger Marshall “a moron” when the senator questioned if he should have a publicly available financial disclosure form on Tuesday.

Dr Fauci told MSNBC on Wednesday that he was stunned to know “that a sitting United States senator doesn’t realise that my financial statement is public knowledge”.

The infectious diseases expert also clashed with Senator Rand Paul during the hearing, who he accused of politicising the pandemic and “kindling the crazies” with his remarks. Dr Paul has since doubled down on his remarks.

Dozens of scientists and medical professionals have signed a letter defending Dr Fauci from criticism that is “inaccurate, unscientific, ill-founded in the facts and, increasingly, motivated by partisan politics”.


Oliver O’Connell14 January 2022 02:45


Coming soon: Free masks and 1 billion Covid tests

President Joe Biden said his administration will unveil a plan to provide free masks to Americans, to encourage their use in order to stem the spread of Covid-19.

Mr Biden also said on Thursday that his administration will order another half-billion at-home Covid-19 tests for mailing to any American who requests one on a yet-to-be unveiled website, adding to a previous order of 500 million placed by the administration last month.

Oliver O’Connell14 January 2022 01:45


ABC News criticised for editing CDC director interview

ABC News is under fire for its editing of a “Good Morning America” interview with CDC Director Rochelle Walensky that created uncertainty that’s being exploited by vaccine critics.

Oliver O’Connell14 January 2022 00:45


United Airlines: Vaccine mandate ended weekly deaths

The CEO of United Airlines has told his staff in an open letter that the company’s vaccine mandate has ended the “weekly” deaths that previously plagued the organisation.

Oliver O’Connell13 January 2022 23:51


Ruling does not prevent employers from requiring vaccination

The Scotus ruling does not prevent private employers from requiring vaccination, nor does it undermine existing workplace vaccination requirements that were put in place voluntarily by employers.

The White House will continue to encourage private employers to institute their own mandates.

Oliver O’Connell13 January 2022 23:20


Oliver O’Connell13 January 2022 22:45


Before mandates there were incentives

Before the White House introduced vaccine mandates in the late summer of 2021, the vaccine had been available for almost nine months.

To encourage take-up, a number of incentive schemes around the country received White House support.

Ben Wakana of the Covid-19 response team provides a few examples:

Oliver O’Connell13 January 2022 22:30


SCOTUS decision doesn’t change reality of pandemic

If you are unvaccinated you are far more likely to get hospitalised and die from Covid-19.

Oliver O’Connell13 January 2022 22:15


Flashback: OSHA — small agency, big job

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration doesn’t make many headlines. Charged with keeping America’s workplaces safe, it usually busies itself with tasks such as setting and enforcing standards for goggles, hardhats, and ladders.

And then it was directed to write a rule requiring employers with more than 100 workers to require vaccines or produce weekly test results.

Oliver O’Connell13 January 2022 22:00


What did the court decide?

The Supreme Court voted 6-3 along ideological lines to toss out Joe Biden’s mandate for businesses requiring those with more than 100 workers to institute vaccination or regular testing requirements.

However, the first ruling is nevertheless a major blow to the plan the president announced last year.

In their majority opinion, the six justices wrote that although Covid-19 was indeed a hazard faced by many employees at their workplaces, it did not fall under the legal definition of an “occupational hazard” that OSHA, the US government agency which enforces labour standards, could regulate.

Oliver O’Connell13 January 2022 21:40


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