24 State Attorney Generals have sent a letter to President Biden threatening a lawsuit over his federal vaccine mandate.
These are the states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
The letter reads “we, the Attorneys General of 24 states, write in opposition to your attempt to mandate the vaccination of private citizens. On September 9, you announced that you would be ordering the Department of Labor to issue an emergency temporary standard, under the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act , which would mandate that private sector employers require most of their employees to either get a COVID-19 shot, submit to weekly testing, or be fired. Your plan is disastrous and counterproductive.”
The letter continues “From a policy perspective, this edict is unlikely to win hearts and minds-it will simply drive further skepticism. And at least some Americans will simply leave the job market instead of complying. This will further strain an already-too-tight labor market, burdening companies and (therefore) threatening the jobs of even those who have received a vaccine.”
“Worse still, many of those who decide to leave their jobs rather than follow your directive will be essential healthcare workers,” the letter continues. “This is no idle speculation. A New York hospital recently announced its plans to stop delivering babies after several staff members resigned in the face of New York’s mandate} And recent polling suggests those frontline healthcare workers are not outliers. 2 Thus, Mr. President, your vaccination mandate represents not only a threat to individual liberty, but a public health disaster that will displace vulnerable workers and exacerbate a nationwide hospital staffing crisis, with severe consequences for all Americans.”
“This government edict is also likely to increase skepticism of vaccines. You emphasized at your September 9 announcement ‘that the vaccines provide very strong protection from severe illness from COVID-19 … [and] the world’s leading scientists confirm that if you are fully vaccinated, your risk of severe illness from COVID-19 is very low’,” the letter adds. “You further stated that ‘only one of out of every 160,000 fully vaccinated Americans was hospitalized for COVID per day.’ And you said ‘the science makes clear’ that ‘if you’re fully vaccinated, you’re highly protected from severe illness, even if you get COVID-19.’ The mandate, however, sends exactly the opposite signal: it suggests that the vaccinated need protection from those who, for whatever personal reason, choose not to or cannot receive a COVID-19 shot. That is hardly a statement of confidence in the efficacy of vaccines.”
The letter then states “The policy also fails to account for differences between employees that may justify more nuanced treatment by employers. Most glaringly, your policy inexplicably fails to recognize natural immunity. Indeed, the CDC estimated that by late May 2021, over 120 million Americans had already been infected, and that number is likely tens of millions higher today.4 And your sweeping mandate fails to account for the fact that many workers-for example, those who work from home or work outdoors-are at almost no risk of exposure from their co-workers regardless of vaccine status. A one-size-fits-all policy is not reasoned decision-making. It is power for power’s sake.”
“Your edict is also illegal,” the letter claims. “You propose to enforce your mandate through the rarely used emergency temporary standard provision in the OSH Act. According to the Congressional Research Service, the Department has attempted to adopt an emergency temporary standard only one other time since 1983 (and that one exception came in June of this year and is being challenged). An emergency temporary standard does not have to go through notice and comment and can be made effective immediately upon publication. Because of this lack of process and oversight, courts have viewed these standards with suspicion. Between 1971 and 1983, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued nine emergency temporary standards. Of those, six were challenged. The courts fully vacated or stayed the standards in four cases, partially stayed the standards in another, and upheld only one of the six.”