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Politics In OSHA We Trust?

14:45  28 october  2021
14:45  28 october  2021 Source:   nationalreview.com

Swift and thorough White House review of vaccine mandate is critical

  Swift and thorough White House review of vaccine mandate is critical OIRA review increases the chances that the OSHA regulation will achieve its desired goals. That said, an OIRA review that drags on for months also reduces the benefits.COVID-19 is a problem now. While infection rates, hospitalization rates, and deaths from the pandemic are all declining, we are not out of the woods yet. The best way to ensure that the next wave of the pandemic is less severe and less extensive than previous waves is through vaccinations.

According to The Princess Bride, one should “never get involved in a land war in Asia” and “never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.” We suggest a modern addendum to the “classic blunders” list: Never trust a bureaucrat claiming emergency powers. Last week, we met with federal government officials to object to President Biden’s impending “emergency” COVID-19 vaccine mandate for the American workplace. We were one of more than 80 groups to meet with officials from the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), after the president ordered OSHA to impose the vaccine mandate without doing any cost-benefit analysis, as would be needed to justify such an unprecedented intervention in the American economy and personal health decisions.

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A person receives a COVID vaccine at the Acres Home Multi-Service Center in Houston, Texas, October 13, 2021. © Callaghan O'Hare/Reuters A person receives a COVID vaccine at the Acres Home Multi-Service Center in Houston, Texas, October 13, 2021.

Why did Biden pick an obscure agency like OSHA, instead of, say, the Department of Health and Human Services, to impose national vaccination on the millions of (mostly young and healthy) Americans still unwilling to get the shot? Put simply, because OSHA is the best Biden could do to give his unlawful plans the veneer of legality. But it won’t work. As we pointed out to OSHA in our meeting, instead of addressing dangers in American jobsites, they are declaring American workers themselves to be a threat, and in their natural state no less. That move flips on its head the law granting OSHA authority to regulate “workplace” safety.

US mandates vaccines or tests for big companies by Jan. 4

  US mandates vaccines or tests for big companies by Jan. 4 Tens of millions of Americans who work at companies with 100 or more employees will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 4 or get tested for the virus weekly under government rules that took effect Thursday. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said companies that fail to comply could face penalties of nearly $14,000 per violation. The new requirements, which were first previewed by President Joe Biden in September, will apply to about 84 million workers at medium and large businesses, although it is not clear how many of those employees are unvaccinated.

OSHA has failed to point to anything that distinguishes the American workplace, in all its diversity, as any kind of COVID-19 emergency danger zone. Normally, OSHA deals with dangerous substances and hazards in workplaces, such as railings on high-rise construction sites or chemical exposure in manufacturing plants. OSHA must provide sufficient support for its claim that there is a sufficiently grave and imminent danger in the workplace necessitating a vaccine mandate for covered employers.

But there is nothing remotely unique about the dangers of all workplaces (or specifically workplaces of employers with 100 or more employees) when it comes to infectious diseases, because workplaces come in all shapes and sizes, including work done in well-ventilated areas, outdoors, masked, remotely, seasonally, or in places that can be modified to adopt any of the above. While employees may get COVID-19 at work, they can also get COVID-19 outside the workplace, and all employees have had the opportunity to get a COVID-19 vaccination to protect themselves. Most important of all, the people most at risk of hospitalization or death from COVID-19 are beyond retirement age and largely out of the workforce.

Vaccine mandate for businesses published, setting Jan. 4 deadline

  Vaccine mandate for businesses published, setting Jan. 4 deadline The Biden administration published its vaccinate mandate for businesses on Thursday, setting a Jan. 4 deadline in line with healthcare workers and employees of federal contractors. The administration said it was on strong legal grounds with the rule, which an official noted is not technically a vaccine mandate, as businesses can also choose to make regular testing and mask wearing an option. The mandate, which applies to businesses with at least 100 employees and is expected to cover 84 million people, was developed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

But the real goal was never workplace safety. It is, as the White House has admitted, “to render being unvaccinated so burdensome that those who haven’t received shots will have little choice other than to get them.” The administration is bent on forcing vaccination on all sectors of American society, and it has latched onto employers to do the dirty work of punishing, shaming, and coercing “vaccine undocumented” workers.

New daily COVID-19 cases have fallen 57 percent from their September 1 peak. With close to 67 percent of Americans (and counting) having received at least one shot, and with treatments for COVID improving rapidly as we learn more about the disease, the manufactured frenzy to impose an OSHA mandate is reckless, especially when OSHA rulemaking usually takes from four to nearly twelve years! The Biden administration also seems to be ignoring the millions of people who have already recovered from COVID-19 and have natural immunity, even though studies show that natural immunity is at least as good as vaccinated immunity — and probably better — when it comes to serious illness.

Flurry of lawsuits to greet Biden administration's vaccine mandate

  Flurry of lawsuits to greet Biden administration's vaccine mandate Within hours of the Biden administration unveiling a Jan. 4 deadline for 100 million workers to get vaccinated, a small business advocacy group announced it is filing a lawsuit seeking to block the measure. © Provided by Washington Examiner “The Biden administration’s vaccine mandate is clearly illegal and will have a devastating impact on our small business community and our entire economy," said Alfredo Ortiz, the CEO of the Job Creators Network.

But Joe Biden has already ordered OSHA to issue the mandate, and it looks as though the normal public input, cost-benefit analysis, rulemaking norms, and science are going to be dispensed with in order to reach the desired political end, which is near universal vaccination and pariah status for any holdouts. OSHA is calling upon a seldom-used exception to the rulemaking process that allows it to issue an “emergency temporary standard” (ETS) that goes into immediate effect. (This exception also helps explain the Biden administration’s sudden elevation of OSHA as its new favorite agency.) OSHA may issue an ETS only when it is “necessary” to protect employees against a “grave danger” from exposure to “substances or agents determined to be toxic or physically harmful or from new hazards.” Historically, OSHA has issued ETSs only rarely. Of the nine issued before COVID-19, six were challenged in court, and five were ruled unlawful, including a 1983 ETS on asbestos in the workplace.

But there is a danger for Biden and OSHA. The quicker the mandate drops, without weighing all the costs and benefits, the more transparently unscientific, political, and subject to legal challenge it becomes. But the longer OSHA waits, the more it undercuts its argument that there is (or ever was) enough “grave danger” in the workplace to justify emergency OSHA intervention.

Business groups split over Biden vaccine-or-test mandate

  Business groups split over Biden vaccine-or-test mandate Business interests are divided over President Biden's vaccine-or-test mandate, with some groups applauding pro-business changes to the final rule and others arguing that it will disrupt the holiday shopping season. The rule, issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on Thursday, will require businesses with 100 or more employees to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations or weekly testing by Jan. 4. Large corporations and their The rule, issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on Thursday, will require businesses with 100 or more employees to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations or weekly testing by Jan. 4.

Although we made our case against the mandate to the bureaucrats at OIRA and OSHA, we have little hope that the Biden administration will reverse course, obey the law, and leave American workers alone. Given Biden’s obvious personal disdain for unvaccinated Americans, a return to norms at this point seems quite inconceivable.

Roger Severino is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he heads the HHS Accountability Project.

Rachel N. Morrison is an attorney and policy analyst at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where she works on EPPC’s HHS Accountability Project. She is a former attorney adviser at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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Biden administration braces for a wave of legal challenges to workplace COVID-19 vaccine rule .
A flood of GOP-led states threatened to sue the Biden administration over its COVID-19 vaccine rule. Experts say those suits face an uncertain road.While those lawsuits will likely make for good politics in red states where federal mandates of any stripe are often viewed with skepticism, experts say that whether they'll make for good legal challenges is a far more difficult question to answer.

usr: 1
This is interesting!