It’s Friday, September 10th, and this is your Morning Wire. Listen to the full podcast here.
1) Biden Administration Rolls Out Vaccine Mandates
The Topline: President Joe Biden announced Thursday that more than 80 million private sector workers will be required to get a COVID-19 vaccine or test negative at least once a week.
Quote Of The Day:
“The President has no authority to require that Americans inject themselves because of their employment at a private business. The vaccine itself is life-saving, but this unconstitutional move is terrifying. This is still America, and we still believe in freedom from tyrants.”
– Republican Governor Tate Reeves of Mississippi
Xavier Lorenzo via Getty Images
Biden’s New Rule
In an unprecedented move, Biden’s order will force all employers with more than 100 workers to require employees to get vaccinated or get tested at least once a week for the virus. Non-complying businesses would face fines of up to $14,000 per violation. This is expected to affect 80 million American workers in the private sector.
Biden announced all federal workers, and all federal contractors, must receive a vaccine or face disciplinary action. That means the mandate doesn’t only apply to the 2.1 million White House employees and federal agency workers but also the millions of contractors who do business with the government.
The vaccine mandate does not apply to those who work for Congress or in the federal court system, but the federal workers who are required to get the shot won’t have the option to test out. While there will be some medical and religious exemptions, it’s unclear how easy those will be to obtain.
A lot of people have begun pushing back against these mandates. In February, almost a third of active U.S. troops were refusing the vaccine, which is now mandatory for them.
The largest federal employee union, the American Federation of Government Employees, is very much pro-vaccine, but even they are wary of this announcement. The union said it will be bargaining with the administration before the vaccine mandate goes into effect because federal workers “deserve a voice in their working conditions.”
The FDA recently fully approved the Pfizer vaccine and the Delta variant has continued to spread. The Biden administration has mostly blamed the spread of the more contagious variant on people not getting vaccinated.
Remember: Last year, Biden said coronavirus vaccines would not be made mandatory for Americans.
Is This Legal?
A flood of legal challenges are expected and several Republican governors have already issued statements declaring they’ll fight the mandates.
Kevin Dietsch/Staff/Getty Images
2) Biden Forces Trump Appointee Resignations
The Topline: The White House sent letters to Trump appointees at numerous government boards demanding their immediate resignation.
Quote Of The Day:
“The academies, the service academy boards… and frankly, the services have been devoid of politics until yesterday. This president just injected politics into one of the final few areas of America that politics had been free from.”
– Naval Academy graduate and former Trump Press Secretary Sean Spicer
While every president places their own people into the Cabinet and other top positions, this recent purge by President Joe Biden of small independent agencies, governing boards, and the many advisory commissions is unprecedented.
In these positions, presidents typically appoint people to fixed terms which are staggered so they don’t align with presidential elections — in order to foster bipartisanship.
The board overseeing military service academies, such as West Point was affected by the move. The group has historically prided itself on being bipartisan, but Biden purged every official named by Trump.
The White House Spin
The White House suggested they were getting rid of what they claim were unqualified appointees. Purged service academy board members included Lt. General HR McMaster and Sean Spicer, a Naval War College graduate and former Trump Press Secretary.
The White House has tried to make it seem like most of the people are well-known political figures like Spicer, but this isn’t what The Daily Wire found. A lot of the boards are full of experts in particular niche fields.
Is This Legal?
In most cases, the move is likely legal, but in other cases it might be against the law.
For example: Biden fired the general counsels of the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which are independent government agencies set up explicitly to have separation from presidential administrations. It’s a legal gray area.
Key Point: In Trump’s case, he retained Obama appointments. Biden’s move likely sets a precedent every future president, including Republicans, will repeat.
Xie Chen/VCG/Contributor via Getty Images
3) China Bans “Sissy” Men From TV
The Topline: In its most recent policy change that will affect the entertainment industry and how its citizens consume culture, China recently announced a ban on “effeminate men” on television.
Depictions of homosexuality have been illegal in China since 2016, but this move goes a step further.
The National Radio and Television Administration said “[TV] broadcasters must ‘resolutely put an end to sissy men and other abnormal esthetics.”
They used a Chinese slur for feminine-looking men which literally translates to “girlie guns.”
One of the genres they’re specifically cracking down on is talent competition shows, which are very popular with Chinese youth and often feature young male pop stars or boy bands.
Impact On Boys
China recently announced a new policy limiting video games, which particularly impacts boys and this ban is part of the same effort. China wants tough boys who grow up to be tough men who are better able to serve the State.
This also appears to be a move to address the low birth rate with the idea that effeminate men won’t form stable marriages to produce children and lead to a stable society.
Although Hollywood prides itself on inclusivity and L.G.B.T. representation, the studios don’t want “gay moments” to be prominent, so they edit them out of the Chinese market, which is now the biggest movie market in the world.
However, gay activist groups like GLAAD have lobbied for years to get studios to consult them on scripts and casting, which has been successful to a large degree. China’s new ban on so-called “sissy” men on T.V. screens could increase this culture clash.
China didn’t say this ban will apply to movies, but it has significantly curtailed the number of Hollywood movies it has approved this year — about half the usual number.
Bottom Line: If the Chinese Communist Party is unwilling to let its own production companies put effeminate men in front of Chinese eyes, it’s highly unlikely it’s going to welcome Hollywood in to do it for them.
MANDEL NGAN/Contributor/AFP via Getty Images
Other Stories We’re Tracking
DOJ Sues Texas
The Biden administration is suing Texas over its new pro-life law. The Justice Department said in a lawsuit the bill banning most abortions after 6 weeks was made into law “in open defiance of the Constitution.”