The Biden administration has justified its new COVID-19 vaccination mandate as an “emergency power.”
But just where is the emergency?
If we’re facing such grave danger from the COVID-19 pandemic, then why did it take the Biden administration two months to draft its OSHA ruling on private businesses that employ more than 100 people? If there’s such a medical emergency, why did the Biden administration delay its mandate implementation date nearly a month from Dec. 8 to Jan. 4, conveniently after the holidays to minimize workforce disruptions?
The fact of the matter is COVID-19 case rates have been declining precipitously nationwide. The number of new daily COVID-19 cases has dropped 57% nationally since peaking on Sept. 1, as more people get vaccinated or recover and enjoy natural immunity. Some 67.7% of the American population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 58.5% have been fully vaccinated. Nearly 86% of adults over the age of 65 have been fully vaccinated – hitting Dr. Anthony Fauci’s “75 to 80-plus%” target on reaching herd immunity.
Not surprisingly, Dr. Fauci has been quietly raising his estimates throughout the past year, telling The New York Times in September a 70% to 90% range is more likely. Still, the World Health Organization cites a 60% to 70% range as the goal for achieving herd immunity.
COVID-19 death rates are also declining nationwide and hospitals are no longer overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.
“In another month to two months, I think we’ll be on the back end of this, and prevalence will be very low, and you’ll start to see local communities lift restrictions. Some are already lifting them,” former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb predicted this week on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “I think that we’re close to the end of the pandemic phase of this virus.”
In addition to vaccines being widely available, both Pfizer and Merck have developed oral pills awaiting federal authorization that can treat COVID-19 cases at home, cutting both hospitalization and fatality rates. The drug Ivermectin has been used successfully on some patients when prescribed by a doctor, as has hydroxychloroquine. Both are FDA-approved inexpensive generic drugs that have been used for decades to treat other ailments.
For young, healthy adults, there’s a 99.9% chance they’ll survive the disease if they come down with COVID-19, and on average, 98.2% of known COVID-19 patients in the U.S. survive. Coupled with high voluntary vaccination rates, these odds certainly don’t seem like they constitute a medical “emergency.”
Clearly, the Biden administration’s desire is to prolong the COVID-19 pandemic for as long as possible. Why? So they can exert greater state control over the American population with their “emergency rulings.” From a public policy perspective, however, this approach is coming at great cost. Twenty-seven states have filed lawsuits against Mr. Biden’s vaccination mandate and on Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ordered a stay on its implementation.
Thousands of front-line workers have lost their jobs for refusing to get a jab, and airlines have had to cancel flights because of vaccination mandates.
COVID-19 fears have crippled our supply chain and sparked a labor shortage. Imposing a vaccination mandate on private businesses will only exacerbate these crises. Even the Biden team seems to know it, which is why they pushed back the implementation deadline until after the holidays.
“The people that operate the pickup and delivery systems, the warehouses and the fulfillment and sortation centers that make this country’s logistics system go, there’s a fair number of them, a large percentage, that simply do not want to be vaccinated,” Fred Smith, the CEO of FedEx, explained on Sunday to CBS “Face the Nation. “That’s not just hearsay. I was in a couple of our facilities just two days ago and had that confirmed by a number of our front-line managers. And it’s what we’re hearing throughout our system. So, this was a wise decision to move the mandate.”
Mr. Biden didn’t want to ruin Christmas with his federal overreach, hence the delay. It’s politics, pure and simple. If we were actually in an “emergency,” as the administration claims, it would be easy for the president to explain to the American people why Christmas should be canceled this year. But he can’t because we’re not. And everybody knows it. Everybody except Mr. Biden.
The pandemic is over, but the Biden administration will never admit it. Our leaders will keep moving the COVID-19 goalposts to preserve their position and power. It’s up to the American people to resist and for the courts to stop them.
• Kelly Sadler is the commentary editor at the Washington Times.
Correction: The author incorrectly used Virginia’s vaccination rates for the nation. The vaccination rates have been updated to reflect the nation’s total.