Two days after a federal court temporarily stayed the administration’s mandate requiring businesses to inoculate their workforce, the White House has urged private companies to implement rules requiring employees to receive coronavirus vaccines.
“We think people should not wait,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters during the daily press briefing.
“We say, do not wait to take actions that will keep your workplace safe. It is important and critical to do and waiting to get more people vaccinated will lead to more outbreaks and sickness.
“We’re trying to get past this pandemic, and we know the way to do that is to get people vaccinated,” Xinhua news agency quoted Jean-Pierre as further saying.
On November 6, a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled to temporarily halt the mandate, citing “grave statutory and constitutional issues.”
The decision came after several Republican Attorneys General from Texas, South Carolina, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Utah, as well as several private companies, filed petitions to challenge the mandate on November 5.
More than a dozen state Attorneys General, as well as other organisations, are suing to overturn the rule.
The mandate, which was formally known as an emergency temporary standard, was created by the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Employees of companies with a workforce of 100 or more must be fully vaccinated by January 4, 2022, according to the requirements.
To enter the workplace after the deadline, unvaccinated employees must submit weekly negative Covid-19 tests.
Beginning December 5, unvaccinated workers must begin wearing masks inside their workplaces.
OSHA has the authority under federal law to issue an emergency temporary standard if it determines that workers are exposed to a “grave danger” that necessitates the rule.
“The administration clearly has the authority to protect workers, and actions announced by the president are designed to save lives and stop the spread of Covid-19,” Jean-Pierre said, noting that the Justice Department would be defending the rule in court.