“This is not about freedom, or personal choice. It’s about protecting yourself and those around you. The people you work with. The people you care about. The people you love. My job as President is to protect all Americans.”
That was President Joe Biden on Sept. 9, outlining his plan via an emergency Department of Labor regulation to require all employees who work at employers with 100 or more employees, about 80 million, to show proof of getting the Covid vaccine as a condition for employment. In addition, about 17 million health care workers who administer Medicare and Medicaid patients are also being required to get the shot.
To date, more than 208 million Americans have received at least one dose of the Covid vaccine, about 63 percent of the population, and 177 million are fully vaccinated. In addition, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation estimates there have been more than 150 million Covid infections nationwide since early 2020.
Biden is doing this under the guise of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA), which derives its authority under the Constitution under Article I, Section 8, that is, Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce.
This isn’t commerce. These are individual health choices, liberty that will be deprived under the Fifth Amendment without any due process of law. Congress never anticipated OSHA’s authority to govern personal health decisions. If they can govern Covid or flu shots, could they then also regulate your calorie intake, whether you smoke or how much you exercise? Is that all commerce, too?
This is one of the biggest federal power grabs this century, and represents an unbelievable abuse of power by Biden, who chastised those Americans who haven’t yet received the shot, declaring, “This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated and it’s caused by the fact that despite America having unprecedented and successful vaccination programs, despite the fact that for almost five months, free vaccines have been available in 80,000 different locations, we still have nearly 80 million Americans who have failed to get the shot.”
Biden added, “Many of us are frustrated with the nearly 80 million Americans who are still not vaccinated even though the vaccine is safe, effective and free.”
But here Biden is fudging with the numbers. The number of Americans over the age of 18 who have not received the vaccine is 81 million, according to the latest Centers for Disease Control data.
Overall there are 141 million Americans who have not received a shot: 47.7 million under the age of 12 (the vaccine has yet to be approved for children under 12), 12.7 million between the ages of 12 and 17 (49 percent), 13.7 million from 18 to 24 years old (55 percent), 28.4 million between the ages of 25 and 39 (58.3 percent), 13.4 million from the ages of 40 to 49 (66.8 percent), 16.8 million from the ages of 50 to 64 (73.9 percent), 4.5 million from the ages of 65 to 74 (82.6 percent) and 4.1 million from the ages of 75 and above (82.4 percent).
Of the 93 million eligible to get a vaccine who have not, 54.8 million, or more than 58 percent, are under the age of 40. That is the biggest gap, but is unclear how many of them will be touched by Biden’s vaccine mandates.
For starters, there are more than 100 million Americans 16 years old and older who are not even in the labor force. The regulation won’t touch them. In addition, another 8.3 million are unemployed. That’s 107 million people, or about 40 percent of those 16 and older, who will be relatively unaffected by Biden’s mandates.
If that holds true for 84 million unvaccinated who are old enough to work, then 40 percent or 33 million or so, are not even working.
Overall, the non-vaccination rate for the ages of 16 and above is currently 31.6 percent. If that holds true in health care workers and those who work at franchises with 100 or more employees, then about 30.6 million unvaccinated workers’ jobs are on the line, who will be disproportionately younger.
That is more than the 25 million who lost their jobs to the Covid lockdowns by April 2020. If the 30.6 million were all suddenly fired, the national unemployment rate would skyrocket to over 25 percent.
This is a national lockdown of the unvaccinated by other means. By the way, the unvaccinated are disproportionately Republican.
If this is not overturned by the Supreme Court as an unconstitutional deprivation of liberty and as being far beyond the scope of the Commerce clause, it could very well cause an economic depression — Biden’s depression — and tear this country apart at the seams.
Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.