On Tuesday, the Biden administration launched the long-anticipated process to force employees to take the vaccine. The Operational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) took twice as long to draft the "Emergency Temporary Standard" as they initially predicted, but it finally sent the text to the Office of Management and Budget for review. Still, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki refused to give a timeline for a final rule, saying only "it should be an indication that it's there and now it is being reviewed."
Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) suspected the administration's foot-dragging is a game, holding the rule so long that the advertised compliance deadlines "are occurring within the next month." This keeps businesses guessing and pressures them to pre-emptively vaccinate their employees out of fear that if they wait until the federal mandate is issued, "it'll be too late" for them to make the required changes.
Johnson predicted this shell game will be "devastating for our health care system," as health care workers who refuse to get the vaccine are forced out of already understaffed health care facilities. These were "the heroes of the pandemic," said Johnson. "They were exposed, some died, most survived." But federal regulators are ignoring mounting evidence that natural immunity provides better protection than the vaccines, which have an increased risk of an adverse reaction. Most hospitals receive Medicare and Medicaid federal dollars and are therefore requiring their staff to be vaccinated under Biden's federal employee mandate. Already, 4,700 health care workers have been fired for refusing to get the vaccine.
And it will be "devastating to our economy," added Johnson. Workers forced out of their jobs over a vaccine won't be confined to the health care sector. Employees at Southwest Airlines and American Airlines are suing their employers to block those corporations' vaccine mandates. Johnson said "large trucking companies believe they'll lose all of their truckers to the smaller companies" distributing goods less efficiently and disrupting the supply chain even further.
America has already stumbled into unprecedented economic hazards, said Dan Celia, president and CEO of Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries. "There is no history that is going to give us any indication" of how to respond. With a backlog of thousands of cargo ships waiting to enter western ports, the economy is still sustaining aftershocks from the giant supply chain quakes of the last 18 months -- caused by factory shutdowns in Asia, international travel bans, and a ship stuck in the Suez Canal.
America is also suffering from a "self-inflicted energy crisis" that has raised gasoline prices 42.1 percent in the past year. Skyrocketing energy prices are one factor contributing to a 5.4 percent increase in consumer prices over one year ago, the highest rate in 30 years. Unions are responding by demanding higher wages, with up to 100,000 workers threatening to strike, even while a record 4.3 million workers left their jobs in August and many businesses struggle to find workers to fill jobs. On top of everything else is $28 trillion (and counting) in national debt, perched precariously enough to bury the entire system. "We have lost our ability to grow our way out of this," Celia lamented.
To restore America to a sound financial footing, Celia prescribed economic growth and slimming down the government. Instead, the Biden administration is trying to shepherd another $3.5 trillion in spending through Congress, which will be paid for with more debt, more taxes, and more tax collectors. The Biden administration also continues to proceed with a vaccine mandate that could force more workers to leave their jobs. "Get a jab or lose your job" is not what the doctor ordered.