The U.S. Supreme Court has blocked President Joe Biden’s mandate requiring workers at large companies to be vaccinated or masked and tested weekly.
The Supreme Court says the mandate exceeded the Biden administration’s authority.
“OSHA has never before imposed such a mandate. Nor has Congress. Indeed, although Congress has enacted significant legislation addressing the COVID–19 pandemic, it has declined to enact any measure similar to what OSHA has promulgated here,” the conservative majority wrote in an unsigned opinion.
Biden has been urging all Americans to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. As many Americans remain hesitant, Biden’s rule would have forced them to be vaccinated or face termination from their places of employment.
More than 80 million people would have been affected. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimated that the rule would have saved 6,500 lives and prevented 250,000 hospitalizations over six months.
“I am disappointed that the Supreme Court has chosen to block common-sense life-saving requirements for employees at large businesses that were grounded squarely in both science and the law,” Biden said following the ruling.
Biden added, “it is now up to States and individual employers to determine whether to make their workplaces as safe as possible for employees, and whether their businesses will be safe for consumers during this pandemic by requiring employees to take the simple and effective step of getting vaccinated.”
On Thursday, Biden announced that the government had deployed 120 military medical personnel to six additional states: Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, and New Mexico, to help alleviate staffing shortages at hospitals across the country as the Omicron variant continues to spread.