Washington D.C., Jan 14: As the US President tried to implement the vaccine mandate, the US supreme court has blocked his decision. His opposition has termed his decision undemocratic and the court’s ruling to be the beacon of hope for individual liberty.
Even as Joe Biden termed the current surge in Covid-19 cases as a “pandemic of the unvaccinated”, drawing a distinction between how it has affected those who have taken the jab and those who haven’t, the Supreme Court blocked the administration from enforcing a vaccine-or-testing mandate for large employers in the country. If allowed, the move would have applied to all companies with more than 100 employees.
“This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. Right now, both vaccinated and unvaccinated people are testing positive, but what happens after that could not be more different. If vaccinated people test positive, they overwhelmingly have either no symptoms at all or they have mild symptoms. And if they are unvaccinated... if they test positive, you are 17 times more likely to get hospitalized… And yes, the unvaccinated are dying from Covid-19,” said Biden on Thursday morning.
On Wednesday, the US reported 781,203 Covid-19 cases; 145,005 individuals were hospitalized; and 1,827 people died.
Biden emphasized that vaccination against Covid-19 had made a difference between the surge last winter and this one. “Because we’ve fully vaccinated nearly 210 million Americans, the majority of the country is safe from severe Covid-19 consequences. That’s why, even as the number of cases among the vaccinated Americans go up, deaths are down dramatically from last winter.”
The US president cited the example of United Airlines to buttress his point, claiming that, on an average, one employee was dying a week before it implemented a vaccination requirement. Since enforcing it, 99% of its employees have got vaccinated, and while 3,600 have tested positive, there hasn’t been a single case of hospitalization or death in the last eight weeks. “But as long as we have tens of millions of people who will not get vaccinated, we’re going to have full hospitals and needless deaths,” he said.
Just hours after Biden’s remarks, the Supreme Court — while allowing a requirement for health workers at facilities receiving federal money to get vaccinated — disallowed the administration from enforcing vaccine mandates for large employers. This would have required workers to get vaccinated, or wear masks and get tested weekly.
The court’s six conservative judges outnumbered the three liberal justices — and ruled against federal vaccine mandates, primarily on the ground that the federal executive branch did not have the authority to impose such a sweeping requirement.