Vivek Murthy, the surgeon general, recently stated that President Biden’s administration had not ruled out a federal vaccination requirement for small businesses. News anchor Martha Raddatz asked Murthy about the vaccine mandates amid opposition from over two dozen states challenging them in court.
Raddatz asked about the legal problems, including the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals’ recent decision to block the mandate on constitutional grounds. She asked Murthy if the administration can withstand the legal challenges of the mandates in court.
Murthy states that the president would not have set these requirements in motion if he didn’t believe they were necessary and appropriate. He said they are prepared to defend them, adding that they should examine why they are so important. He said we’ve had to use vaccines to protect our population throughout history, including George Washington’s requirement that troops be inoculated against smallpox. Schools have also required vaccines, including the ability to make workers and customers feel safe. He said we know how far we’ve come and that we have 75,000 cases per day. He went on to say it is crucial that we take every step to make our workplaces safer.
Raddatz asked if the law is not challenged by the courts, will the administration extend the mandate to smaller employers employing fewer than 100 people?”
Murthy states that nothing is off the tables at the moment, but that the main focus is on implementing the OSHA rule. He said he wants to emphasize that the average business that has put these requirements in place saw a 20% increase in vaccinations and boosted them into the 90s. He said the report will help them get to the end of the pandemic by showing that vaccines are an important pathway out.
Murthy has not been clear on who voted for these mandates or what representation they have in court, but it’s clear that they’ve made OSHA another branch of government.