Former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb blamed the Biden administration for making COVID-19 vaccines “overtly political” during a Sunday appearance on “Face The Nation.”
“The downside of this mandate in terms of hardening positions and taking something that was subtly political and making it overtly political could outweigh any of the benefits that we hope to achieve,” Gottlieb told CBS’ Margaret Brennan. President Joe Biden announced on Sept. 9 that he would direct the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to enforce vaccine requirements on workers for companies that employ more than 100 individuals.
“I don’t think we have to reach down to the level of small businesses with 100 or more employees and put a federal requirement on it,” @ScottGottliebMD says. “I don’t think the federal government should be dictating this.” pic.twitter.com/nXpsoV7mlk
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) September 12, 2021
Republicans have widely panned the announcement, with at least eight GOP-controlled states threatening lawsuits immediately after Biden’s speech. Republican National Committee (RNC) chairwoman Ronna McDaniel also promised to sue the Biden administration over the rule, as did Daily Wire CEO Jeremy Boreing. (RELATED: ‘He Said The Quiet Part Out Loud’: Ted Cruz Says Retweet From Biden’s Chief Of Staff On ‘Work-Around’ Very Revealing)
Gottlieb explained that anger over the order “could actually discourage some vaccination.”
“Perhaps with a mandate on small businesses, eventually you get to something akin to 85%, but it’s going to be slow because this is going to get litigated. It takes OSHA time to implement regulations. You’ll have to put in place guidance, give businesses a grace period and then figure out what the enforcement mechanism is going to be in. In the near term, a lot of businesses that might have mandated vaccines are now going to sit on their hands and say, I’m going to wait for OSHA to tell me just how to do it and give me more political cover,” he said.
“We’re not going to get above 90%. We don’t even really reach 90% with childhood immunizations, which are mandated. So, we’re going to get somewhere between 80 and 90%. I would state that we would have gotten to 80% just on our current trajectory in short order.”
Gottlieb added that he doesn’t “think the federal government should be dictating this. I also don’t think governors should be preventing small businesses from making these determinations on their own. We should leave these decisions to communities, local communities and businesses to make assessments on what their risk is.”