Biden ‘Disappointed’ That SCOTUS Ruled Against Vaccine Mandate for Businesses

By Melanie Arter | January 13, 2022 | 4:09pm EST
The US Supreme Court is seen in Washington, DC on January 11, 2022. (Photo by STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
The US Supreme Court is seen in Washington, DC on January 11, 2022. (Photo by STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) – The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled against President Biden’s vaccine mandate for large businesses, but allowed the vaccine mandate for health care workers at facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki applauded the court’s ruling that facilities that receive Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) funding require workers to get vaccinated, even though it exempts other health care workers and does not force businesses to require vaccinations.


She urged businesses to institute a vaccine mandate anyway.

CMS's requirement for healthcare workers to be vaccinated will save the lives of patients, as well as the lives of doctors and nurses and others who work in healthcare settings. It will cover 17 million healthcare workers at 76,000 medical facilities. The Supreme Court upheld it and we will enforce that.

“The Supreme Court's decision on the OSHA mandate essentially means that in this pandemic it's up to individual employers to determine whether their workplaces will be safe for employees and whether their businesses will be safe for consumers.

So President Biden - you'll see this in his statement - will be calling on and will continue to call on businesses to immediately join those who have already stepped up, including one-third of Fortune 100 companies to institute vaccination requirements to protect their workers, customers and communities. 

We have to keep working together in order to get this done to save more lives. I would note there are a couple of signs, good signs, in terms of without this – even in spite of the ruling that we would point to. 

One is that 57% according to a Navigator poll of Americans support vaccine requirements. According to a Wills Tower Watsons report, survey of 534 U.S. Employers, a majority - 57% of respondents – have or will require their employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Why? Because nearly -- because employees want to feel safe in the workplace, because they want to incentivize workers to come back to the workplace and because they’ve seen large companies across the country implement this and see how effective it is.  

In a statement Thursday, Biden reacted to the ruling, saying that he’s “disappointed” that the high court decided to “block common-sense life-saving requirements for employees at large businesses that were grounded squarely in both science and the law.”

My administration began to institute vaccination requirements last July, when after months of making vaccinations free and widely available, 90 million Americans were still unvaccinated. Today, that number is down to under 35 million. These vaccine requirements applied to members of the Armed Forces, federal workers and contractors, health care workers, and employees in large firms. Had my administration not put vaccination requirements in place, we would be now experiencing a higher death toll from COVID-19 and even more hospitalizations. 

Today’s decision by the Supreme Court to uphold the requirement for health care workers will save lives:  the lives of patients who seek care in medical facilities, as well as the lives of doctors, nurses, and others who work there. It will cover 10.4 million health care workers at 76,000 medical facilities. We will enforce it.

At the same time, I am disappointed that the Supreme Court has chosen to block common-sense life-saving requirements for employees at large businesses that were grounded squarely in both science and the law. This emergency standard allowed employers to require vaccinations or to permit workers to refuse to be vaccinated, so long as they were tested once a week and wore a mask at work: a very modest burden.  

As a result of the Court’s decision, it is now up to States and individual employers to determine whether to make their workplaces as safe as possible for employees, and whether their businesses will be safe for consumers during this pandemic by requiring employees to take the simple and effective step of getting vaccinated.

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. 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. We have to keep working together if we want to save lives, keep people working, and put this pandemic behind us.  

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