DANIEL VAUGHAN: What happened to Biden’s vaccine mandate?

Over the weekend, we passed a milestone for the Biden administration. It’s officially been one month since the president announced his COVID-19 vaccine mandate, which requires every employer with more than 100 employees to vaccinate their workforce.

And in that one month, we have no idea what the details are for such a mandate or when the Biden administration will decide to enforce the mandate.

The White House has not forgotten its mandate speech. Just before the one-month anniversary, Joe Biden was out and about giving stump speeches touting his pandemic response plan and the importance of a mandate, which, again, does not exist at the moment.

The address was odd, though. It sounded more like a president begging businesses to implement a mandate without the government ordering everyone.

NBC News noted of the speech:

Biden announced a mandate last month requiring companies with 100 or more employees to ensure that their workforces are vaccinated or regularly tested. While the Labor Department is weeks away from releasing details of the emergency rule, Biden called on companies to act now and not to wait for the requirement to go into effect.

In short, no one knows when the rule is coming. The White House isn’t giving a timeline. We have had vague reports of a rule being “weeks away,” and this is all from an administration who couched a mandate in terms that defeating the pandemic was imperative.

How imperative is it to this administration when they do nothing to move their own mandate forward?

They can’t demand businesses do something that the government won’t do. Companies have many questions about how to implement such a rule, and the White House has neither a rule nor are they entertaining honest questions.

Some examples of issues from a mandate of any kind, according to National Review:

What is considered documentation for proof of vaccination and how will booster vaccinations be factored into compliance? Must an employee be “fully vaccinated” in order to work? How will the requirements address natural immunity? Will individuals that have contracted COVID-19 be required to be vaccinated or submit to testing requirements? Will the requirements only apply to vaccines that are fully approved by the FDA? What are the consequences of falsifying one’s vaccination status and does responsibility rest with the individual or employer? If an employee takes a COVID-19 test but the results are not yet available, is the employee allowed to continue to work pending the results? Should employees choose not to vaccinate, is the company or employee responsible for securing and paying for testing? Will paid time off be required for weekly tests?

And that’s just a starter set of questions. None of the parties involved, the Labor Department, OSHA, or the White House, have provided any guidance or hint of how a mandate would go into effect or how they’d deal with straightforward questions like the ones above.

Biden is asking businesses to solve these issues now. It doesn’t build confidence that the White House has launched itself into a quandary, provided no answers, caused chaos, and left everyone hanging, all while claiming a winter surge is near. If you take the doom and gloom predictions seriously, as the White House does, every day they waste implementing a mandate equates to more dead from COVID-19.

Let’s say the White House waits another month to implement a mandate; by then, we’ll be in November, headed towards the holidays. There are two doses involved for mRNA vaccines. It takes six to eight weeks, from the first dose to the total effectiveness of the second, before full coverage is considered to exist.

That means we could be well in the middle of a winter surge, and the mandate will not be active.

The point is that the White House is failing its own calendar and claimed priorities in ending the pandemic. Biden tried to take an angry tone with Americans, saying, “Our patience is wearing thin.”

Still, his administration is nowhere to be found when it comes to delivering policies he’s allegedly impatient about. When will he provide a mandate that he says is needed? Who knows. When will his policies start working? Your guess is as good as mine.

The failure to start on a vaccine mandate is only the latest example of an administration that says a lot, does less, and delivers little. Everything the administration touches is a debacle, from start to finish. And now, an initiative that they claim is sorely needed is nowhere to be found.

They’ve failed objective measures of competence, as well as the standards they’ve set for themselves.

Businesses are in a lurch, Biden has increased the political polarization around vaccines, and we’ve got nothing to show for a speech that has done more harm than good. Does this administration care? There’s little evidence so far.

In fact, there’s no evidence they’re capable of recognizing failure if it was staring them in the face. But that’s precisely what is happening.

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