Biden could still score a minor victory even if his COVID vaccine mandates are shot down

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments early this month concerning two of President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

There have been suggestions that the high court’s conservative members seem likely to strike them down. Yet, even if that happens, some observers contend that the president will still come out on top, as it could add stability to businesses, which could result in an uptick in Biden’s approval ratings, the Washington Examiner reports.   

Dire economic implications

As Fox News reported, one of the rules requires medical professionals who work at facilities that receive Medicaid and Medicare funding to be vaccinated against the virus.

The other mandate is a requirement that will be enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which forces businesses with 100 employees or more to verify their workers’ vaccination status, as well as implement expensive, time-consuming testing procedures for the unvaccinated.

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, told the Washington Examiner that pushing unvaccinated people out of the workforce will have dire economic consequences.

Holtz-Eakin warned that such requirements will negatively impact both businesses and consumers, saying, “The mandate has the potential to be very disruptive to the labor market.”

Indeed, Fox News noted last month that the removal of unvaccinated healthcare workers has left many medical centers ill-equipped to deal with an influx of patients suffering from the omicron variant of the virus.

Surprise victory?

Given the already poor marks that the president has received regarding economic matters, any further impact from his vaccination mandate is likely to further lessen his popularity.

A CNBC/Change Research survey published last week found that 60% of Americans disapprove of how Biden has handled the economy.

It also found that addressing economic concerns were is “the top priority for men and women, every age cohort, Latino and white voters, and those with and without college educations.”

Further, the president’s current approach to the COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t seem particularly popular, as the CNBC/Change Research poll noted 55% of respondents expressed disapproval.

Thus, having the Supreme Court strike down the mandates could hand Biden an economic victory, as a result of stabilizing the workforce to some degree, while at the same time avoiding blame from his base. As Holtz-Eakin stressed, it would “take one more political lightning rod off the books.”

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