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President Biden’s Vaccine Mandate For 100 Million Workers Officially Being Enforced

Back in September President Biden announced that he would be working on creating multiple vaccine mandates to get more Americans vaccinated. On Thursday, the administration started the process by releasing mandates for over 100 million workers. 

The first rule has been issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and covers mandates for companies with 100 or more employees; it’s estimated this rule will apply to 84 million workers. Companies need to ensure their employees are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by January 4th, or they will need to provide a negative test in order to come into work every week. 

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OSHA’s rule also requires employers to pay their employees for the time it takes for them to get vaccinated, and recover from any potential side effects that arise. 

Employers also won’t be required to pay for weekly testing for their unvaccinated employees, or even provide the testing in the first place. This is in an attempt to get more employees to actually receive their vaccines as opposed to remaining at higher risk for exposure. 

Unvaccinated workers will also be required to wear face coverings at all times; this rule will be enforced starting December 6th. 

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services are requiring around 17 million health care workers to be vaccinated by January 4th. However, healthcare workers won’t be given the option to decline being vaccinated to opt for weekly testing. 

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Some employers are worried that the deadlines OSHA provided won’t give some of them enough time to gather the information required to find out who’s already vaccinated and who’s not. However, the Biden Administration asserted their authority in issuing these mandates due to OSHA’s responsibility to provide safe and healthy working conditions for all employees. 

“A virus that has killed more than 745,000 Americans, with more than 70,000 new cases per day currently, is clearly a health hazard that poses a grave danger to workers,” said a senior administration official.

Companies will mainly be responsible for enforcing the OSHA rule, as there’s only a couple thousand state and federal OSHA inspectors nationwide. It’s expected that OSHA inspectors will more likely be responding to employee complaints regarding their employers or fellow workers who aren’t abiding by the mandates. 

Employers that violate the rule can face fines up to $13,000 per violation, and depending on how severe the violation is that fine could multiply by ten.

The White House

President-Elect Joe Biden Reveals Health Team That Will Lead Future Pandemic Response

Joe Biden and his administration made the announcement this Monday that they had decided on the team that would be guiding the nation in their response to the Covid-19 pandemic once Biden takes office in January.

Coronavirus Fight

Dr. Fauci Continues To Battle Administration On Covid-19 Handling

Dr. Anthony Fauci has acted at the US’s figurehead in regards to the Covid-19 pandemic and ways we as a country can curve the spread. President Donald Trump and his administration, however, are continuing to sideline Fauci as a Covid-19 expert and contradict his advice by expressing their skepticism about the severity of the virus/treatments for the virus. 

More recently, Trump claimed that he “disagreed” with Fauci’s claim that the US was in a bad place in its coronavirus response, despite the fact that the US is one of the only countries in the world that’s still seeing an increase in case numbers and deaths. Trump went on to claim that Fauci was the one who’s been “making a lot of mistakes” in terms of Covid response. 

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The public has generally stayed on Fauci’s side as he, along with the rest of the countries healthcare professionals, have been basing their claims off the national/international data that’s been collected regarding the virus and how it works, however, that hasn’t stopped the administration from trying to take Fauci down. 

Trump retweeted a call for Fauci to be fired back in April after he continuously has had to correct the president specifically on his false claims regarding the virus; for example, when Trump was telling individuals that taking hydroxychloroquine could kill the virus, despite the FDA’s warning against doing exactly that. 

Trump can’t actually fire Fauci, and if he did the public would likely be very outraged; Fauci currently has a 67% approval rating for how he’s handled the pandemic, which is about three times the approval rating for Trump’s response. White House officials instead have taken to the media and internet to damage Fauci’s reputation, one recent example being an official telling CNN that “several White House officials are concerned about the number of times Dr Fauci has been wrong on things.” 

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Fauci himself has had enough of standing on the podium after Trump to disprove the false claims he’s spread about the pandemic, so much so that according to insiders Fauci hasn’t briefed Trump on the coronavirus since the first week in June. 

For those who may not be aware, Fauci has had a long career in public health. His name first entered the public eye during the AIDS epidemic where he also, at the time, contradicted the president’s handling of the virus. In a recent podcast interview, Fauci delivered an assertive assessment of the US’s handling of the pandemic in comparison to the rest of the world.  

“You have to be having blind-folders on and covering your ears to think that we don’t live in a very politically divisive society now, from a political standpoint. So I think you’d have to make the assumption that if there wasn’t such divisiveness, that we would have a more coordinated approach.”

The pushback from the president and his administration has been continuously detrimental to the way in which the US has fallen victim to this virus. More American citizens have been killed by Covid-19 than in World War 1. America alone makes up about 28% of all Covid-19 cases in the world as well. 

Regardless of your opinions on Fauci, we can’t deny that America is currently enduring one of the biggest crises it’s ever seen. Listening to your own healthcare professionals/providers is of the utmost importance right now and regardless of political beliefs, make sure you do your research and see for yourself what the facts are.

White House

Trump Administration Refuses to Participate in Impeachment Inquiry

On Tuesday, the White House announced that it would not cooperate whatsoever with an impeachment inquiry started by House of Representatives Democrats who are looking into whether the President is seeking to undermine the integrity of the 2020 election by soliciting campaign assistance from foreign powers. Although the Constitution grants the House of Representatives the power to bring forth articles of impeachment, and to issue subpoenas and compel witnesses to testify in order to do so, the Trump Administration has introduced the novel argument that Congress’s impeachment inquiry is illegitimate, and therefore the White House has no obligation to produce documents or allow witnesses to testify. 

Following along those lines, the White House blocked a key witness, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, from being deposed, though Sondland expressed a clear interest in speaking with members of Congress. Representative Adam Schiff, one of the House committee chairmen leading the impeachment inquiry, has previously stated that any action taken by the White House to delay its inquiry would be interpreted as obstruction of justice, the basis of which one of the articles of impeachment against Nixon was formed.

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The White House made this argument in the form of a scathing letter addressed to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in which White House counsel Pat Cipollone asserted the impeachment effort is nothing more than a partisan attack on the executive branch of government, motivated by Democrats wishing to undo the results of the 2016 election. The letter also asserts that the inquiry is unconstitutional and illegal, and represents a violation of civil liberties and the principle of separation of powers. The letter is a clear attempt by the administration to slow down the impeachment inquiry process, in the hopes that it becomes a long, drawn-out affair that ultimately hurts the Democratic Party’s favorability. 

Democrats have responded by asserting that the letter’s criticisms of the inquiry are baseless and won’t hold up in court, and have indicated that they plan to follow through on their threat to include obstruction of justice charges among their articles of impeachment and that the administration’s refusal to cooperate would not slow down the pace of the inquiry, particularly considering the fact that damning evidence suggesting the President’s request of a foreign nation to interfere in the election is already publicly available.

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The Trump campaign is already trying to take advantage of the impeachment inquiry in their re-election efforts by asserting in campaign advertisements that Trump is a victim of a partisan attack by Democrats intending to undermine his legitimacy as President. The longer the impeachment inquiry plays out, the more the campaign will be able to send this message, making the strategy of delaying the investigation as much as possible more fruitful. The Trump campaign has already raised a tremendous amount of money, totalling more than $300 million this year alone, meaning that the campaign will be able to send a message of victimhood broadly using social media and other outlets for as long as necessary.

The White House’s strategy is risky, especially considering the fragile legal ground its argument stands on. A clear majority of the US population supports the impeachment inquiry, even in these early stages of the investigation, with one poll indicating that 58% of Americans support impeaching Trump. The administration’s outright refusal to participate in the inquiry is likely to drive this number even higher, as an unwillingness to testify and produce evidence suggests the presence of a consciousness of guilt, and many Americans recognize obstruction of justice as an impeachable offense. Several commentators have characterized the administration’s response as a constitutional crisis, defined as a conflict between the branches of government that the Constitution has no mechanism to resolve, which is a breakdown of the fundamental structure of government. We are certainly in uncharted waters, as this is only the fourth impeachment inquiry in American history, and the first one in which both opposing sides are totally unwilling to cede any ground in the conflict.