WH Chief of Staff Likens Vaccine Mandate to Requiring Workers to Wear a Hard Hat


White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain believes President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate will pass constitutional muster, likening it to other job safety requirements.

During an appearance on NBC’s “Meet The Press” Sunday, Klain said, “I’m quite confident that when this gets fully adjudicated, not just a temporary order, the validity of this requirement will be upheld.”

“It’s common sense, Chuck, if OSHA can tell people to wear a hard hat on the job, to be careful around chemicals, it can put in place these simple measures to keep our workers safe,” he added.

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On Thursday, the White House unveiled its vaccine requirements for companies that have at least 100 employees and a “majority of healthcare workers.”

Employers “covered” by the new requirement will have to ensure that their employees are fully vaccinated, and workers who are not vaccinated will be required to receive a negative coronavirus test at least once a week and wear a mask in the workplace.

Additionally, the White House said, “All covered employers are required to provide paid-time for their employees to get vaccinated and, if needed, sick leave to recover from side effects experienced that keep them from working.”

Employers will have to be in compliance with the requirement by Jan. 4.

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The White House argued the new requirement will “drive even more progress and result in millions of Americans getting vaccinated, protecting workers, preventing hospitalization, saving lives, and strengthening the economy.”

However, on Saturday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit temporarily blocked the mandate as it said there is “cause to believe there are grave statutory and constitutional issues with the Mandate.”

The requirement received backlash from Republicans, and Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) came out in opposition to the move, as IJR reported.

As Politico notes, at least four lawsuits have been filed against the requirement, which “argue that the Department of Labor lacks the authority to issue a rule and that it did not follow the proper procedure in issuing the emergency temporary standard.”

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