The Biden administration said Monday it is delaying enforcement of its deadline requiring government employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The deadline of Nov. 22 is not “an endpoint or a cliff,” the directors of the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Personnel Management said in an email, according to the news site Government Executive.
“We have been clear that the goal of the federal employee vaccination requirement is to protect federal workers, not to punish them,” they said.
However, federal workers who do not comply by January with the vaccine mandate will still be fired or suspended.
Also Monday, a federal judge in Missouri blocked President Biden’s health-care worker mandate in 10 states. The lawsuit was filed by attorneys general in Missouri, Nebraska, Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Wyoming, Alaska, South Dakota, North Dakota and New Hampshire.
“Truly, the impact of this mandate reaches far beyond COVID,” wrote U.S. District Judge Matthew Schelp. The judge said the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is seeking “to overtake an area of traditional state authority by imposing an unprecedented demand to federally dictate the private medical decisions of millions of Americans. Such action challenges traditional notions of federalism.”
Meanwhile, Biden’s mandate that private businesses with 100 or more employees ensure all of their workers are vaccinated has been halted by a federal appeals court. And the vaccine deadline for federal contractors was delayed earlier this month, from Dec. 8, 2021, to Jan. 4, 2022.
More than 96% of the country’s 3.5 million federal employees are vaccinated, according to the White House.
“We are continuing to see more and more federal employees getting their shots,” the directors wrote. “Given that tremendous progress, we encourage your agencies to continue with robust education and counseling efforts through this holiday season as the first step in an enforcement process, with no subsequent enforcement actions.”
At the White House briefing Monday, press secretary Jen Psaki denied that the email from the agency leaders meant the deadline had been delayed.
“Nothing has changed on our deadline or our approach to the federal employee vaccine requirement,” she told reporters. “The deadline was last week, on Nov. 22. And we already have 96.5 percent compliance across a diverse workforce that is the largest in the United States.
“I can’t assess exactly what led to any confusion, but OMB put out a public statement this morning, conveying that counseling, of course, would be the first step,” she continued. “That’s long been our approach and our policy from the United States government.”
Psaki insisted it’s “inaccurate to suggest or any reporting that we have delayed anything or changed that the deadline has already passed.”
However, constitutional scholar Josh Blackman told Just the News that the delay in enforcement “undermines the government’s need for urgency, especially in light of the new omicron variant.”
“If this issue was serious, the administration could have asked the Supreme Court for expedited relief,” said Blackman, a professor at the South Texas College of Law.
On Friday, President Biden said the newly discovered omicron variant is one reason “why this pandemic will not end until we have global vaccinations,” urging parents to get their children ages 5-11 inoculated.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Last year, America’s doctors, nurses and paramedics were celebrated as frontline heroes battling a fearsome new pandemic. Today, under Joe Biden, tens of thousands of these same heroes are denounced as rebels, conspiracy theorists, extremists and potential terrorists. Along with massive numbers of police, firemen, Border Patrol agents, Navy SEALs, pilots, air-traffic controllers, and countless other truly essential Americans, they’re all considered so dangerous as to merit termination, their professional and personal lives turned upside down due to their decision not to be injected with the experimental COVID vaccines. Biden’s tyrannical mandate threatens to cripple American society – from law enforcement to airlines to commercial supply chains to hospitals. It’s already happening. But the good news is that huge numbers of “yesterday’s heroes” are now fighting back – bravely and boldly. The whole epic showdown is laid out as never before in the sensational October issue of WND’s monthly Whistleblower magazine, titled “THE GREAT AMERICAN REBELLION: ‘We will not comply!’ COVID-19 power grab ignites bold new era of national defiance.”
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