The Biden administration said on Tuesday that it will withdraw its emergency vaccine-or-testing mandate on businesses with more than 100 employees after the Supreme Court blocked it from being enforced earlier this month, saying it amounted to a federal overreach.
The administration filed a motion in federal court on Tuesday asking pending lawsuits to be dismissed because it would be withdrawing the mandate effective Wednesday. A coalition of businesses and 27 states had brought the suits against the administration.
“The federal government respectfully moves to dismiss the petitions challenging the Vaccination and Testing emergency temporary standard (Vaccination and Testing ETS) issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to address the grave danger of COVID-19 in the workplace,” the administration said in a motion.
The mandate was announced by President Joe Biden in early September and published by OSHA in November. It required employees in companies with 100 or more employees to get vaccinated or be tested for COVID-19 weekly and wear masks in the workplace.
OSHA backs down
About 84 million Americans would have been subject to the mandate, which OSHA claimed would save lives and prevent hospitalizations.
“OSHA estimates that this rule will save thousands of lives and prevent over 250,000 hospitalizations during the six months after implementation,” one official said in November.
Republicans cheered the mandate’s withdrawal on Twitter.
🚨 OSHA TO WITHDRAW BIDEN’S UNCONSTITUTIONAL VACCINE MANDATE RULE 🚨
A huge win for liberties and livelihoods everywhere!
Proud to lead my Senate colleagues to vote to overturn this illegal mandate, which Supreme Court noted as a reason for their decision to block it. pic.twitter.com/fvgwwP9Nk9
— Senator Mike Braun (@SenatorBraun) January 25, 2022
But is it over?
The Labor Department did note that OSHA is still moving forward to institute the mandate as a permanent rule, however.
“Although OSHA is withdrawing the Vaccination and Testing ETS as an enforceable emergency temporary standard, OSHA is not withdrawing the ETS to the extent that it serves as a proposed rule under section 6(c)(3) of the Act, and this action does not affect the ETS’s status as a proposal under section 6(b) of the Act or otherwise affect the status of the notice-and-comment rulemaking commenced by the Vaccination and Testing ETS. See 29 U.S.C. 655(c)(3),” a memo from the agency said.
The Daily Wire was the first to sue the Biden administration over the mandate, and they appeared skeptical that the withdrawal would be the end of the administration’s efforts to force people to be vaccinated.
If OSHA does try to put a rule in place, it will no doubt face all the same lawsuits again, with predictable results. The agency is trying to regulate people’s whole lives with the vaccine mandates, not just their working conditions.
And the vaccines don’t work so well anymore, anyway. By the time OSHA gets a permanent rule in place, we won’t need them anymore because COVID-19 will be as weak as the common cold.