WASHINGTON – The jab or your job? That's what 84-million Americans are facing after the Biden administration has finally, officially, released the President's vaccine mandate against private businesses. More than two dozen states are pushing back, and millions of employees say they'll lose their jobs rather than take the shot.
But the message from the Biden Administration is vaccine or bust. The President is demanding that all businesses with more than 100 employees should force them to take a COVID-19 vaccine.
The order calls for businesses to either require vaccinations – or – weekly testing for unvaccinated employees, and those tests would be required at the employees' own expense.
The new mandate gives millions of Americans until January 4th to comply. That includes 17 million healthcare workers in nursing homes and hospitals that receive money from Medicare and Medicaid. They do not have the option of testing out of the vaccine.
Businesses that don't find a way to enforce the mandate will face a $14,000 fine per violation.
At a hearing on Capitol Hill, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Advisor on COVID-19, defended the extremely controversial move. "We know that vaccines absolutely save lives and we know that mandates work," Fauci testified.
States are pushing back with more than two dozen taking legal action.
"From the very beginning, I've told President Biden that I would defend the freedom of the people of South Dakota and that if he took this action that we would see him in court," said South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) in a video on Twitter. "Today I'm announcing to you that we are joining several other states in filing litigation against this unconstitutional mandate."
Heavy Burden on Businesses and the Supply Chain
Several business groups have expressed concern too, arguing that the mandate will burden them during the busy holiday season.
The mandate does not include a carve-out for truck drivers, sparking concern for an already crippled supply chain that has helped to fuel inflation.
"There are 80,000 truck drivers that are not on the job as we speak. That's up from 60,000 just a couple of weeks ago," CBN News Chief Political Analyst David Brody told CBN's Faith Nation. "This is getting worse."
More Than a Third of Unvaccinated Americans Threaten to Quit Jobs
A recent survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows 37 percent of unvaccinated workers say they would leave if their employer required them to get vaccinated or be regularly tested.
So what are opponents specifically challenging?
Some point out that while the mandate is supposed to be an "emergency" rule, it doesn't take effect until January, about four months after President Biden announced it. For that reason, they question how it can be called an "emergency."
Opponents also note that COVID-19 cases have declined from a recent wave in September and that the U.S. is nearing herd immunity.
Some like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) argue that the mandate being issued via the Labor Department is government by bureaucracy, inconsistent with the Constitution.
What do Christian legal groups say about how to get a religious exemption?
HERE ARE SOME USEFUL RESOURCES:
- Liberty Counsel offers tools HERE to assess or apply for religious exemption.
- Alliance Defending Freedom also offers useful information HERE.
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