President Joe Biden said Thursday that he will continue pushing private businesses to “do the right thing … and institute vaccination requirements” shortly after the Supreme Court blocked his vaccine-or-testing rule.
Biden, in a statement issued shortly after the court’s opinion, noted that “it is now up to States and individual employers to determine whether to make their workplaces as safe as possible for employees.” The Supreme Court blocked Biden’s 2021 rule, which required private businesses with 100+ employees to require workers to be vaccinated or test weekly, in a 6-3 vote.
The president called his knocked-down rule requiring employees to be vaccinated a “simple and effective step” against the pandemic. He took a defiant tone in his response to the ruling, noting that while his administration can’t “require the measure,” he can still use his “voice as President” for advocacy. (RELATED: Companies, Business Groups Have Plans To Push Back On Biden’s Vaccine Mandate)
“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,” Biden said. “I call on business leaders to immediately join those who have already stepped up – including one third of Fortune 100 companies – and institute vaccination requirements to protect their workers, customers, and communities.”
“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…,” Biden says of the Supreme Court ruling. pic.twitter.com/F7Wi9sUVkd
— Shelby Talcott (@ShelbyTalcott) January 13, 2022
Biden added that he was “disappointed” by the Supreme Court’s block, calling the requirements “common-sense” and “life-saving requirements … grounded squarely in both science and the law.” He said the option to require vaccinations or have workers test weekly and mask up was “a very modest burden” in the face of safety and health.
While the president vowed to continue pressuring businesses to comply with the vaccine or testing rule, he also commended the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision to reinstate his vaccine mandate for healthcare workers. This policy, also announced in 2021, requires any health care worker operating out of a facility that receives Medicaid and Medicare funding to be vaccinated, minus those who qualify for religious and medical exemptions.
Biden said the Supreme Court’s decision on this mandate “will save lives,” and he promised enforcement of the rule.
“It will cover 10.4 million health care workers at 76,000 medical facilities. We will enforce it,” Biden declared.