Published On: January 14, 2022 at 10:50 IST
The US Supreme Court, on January 13 ruled against the federal vaccine mandate that involved enforcing a vaccine-or-testing mandate for large employers in the country. This came just hours later to President Biden’s remarks calling the current surge in Covid-19 cases as a “pandemic of the unvaccinated”.
If approved, the mandate would have applied to all the companies with more than 100 employees.
In his speech on Thursday morning, he said that this pandemic was of the unvaccinated. He drew a distinction between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated by saying that if the vaccinated persons test positive, they either have no symptoms or mild symptoms whereas, if they are unvaccinated, they are 17 times more likely to get hospitalized. He claimed that it was the unvaccinated who were dying in this pandemic.
President Biden further went on to say that vaccination against Covid-19 had made a difference between the surge last winter and the present one. Since they successfully vaccinated nearly 210 million Americans, even as the number of cases among the vaccinated Americans go up, deaths are significantly low from last winter. He gave the example of United Airlines. Ever since a vaccination mandate was implemented, there hasn’t been a single case of hospitalization or death in the last eight weeks, although 3,600 have tested positive so far.
The majority of Court’s six Conservative Judges outnumbering the three Liberal Justices ruled against federal vaccine mandates, on the ground that the federal executive branch did not have the authority to impose such a requirement and that the mandate would represent a “significant encroachment into the lives — and health — of a vast number of employees.”
On the other hand, the three dissenting Liberal Justices said, “The ruling stymies the federal government’s ability to counter the unparalleled threat that Covid-19 poses to our nation’s workers.”
President Biden, who was disappointed with the Court ruling, said, “The court has ruled that my administration cannot use the authority granted to it by Congress to require this measure, but that does not stop me from using my voice as president to advocate for employers to do the right thing to protect Americans’ health and economy.”