Dozens of industry groups warned President Biden that his vaccine mandate would intensify rampant supply chain bottlenecks.
On Thursday, the Biden administration revealed its COVID-19 vaccine and testing mandate for employees at businesses with 100 or more workers. Noncompliant companies may be fined roughly $14,000 per violation.
In their open letter to President Biden, the industry groups — which included the American Trucking Associations, National Private Truck Council, and Truckload Carriers Association — predicted that trucking companies may lose nearly four in ten drivers due to the mandate:
Our industries are committed partners in the fight against COVID-19, and we unequivocally support the use of vaccines to fight its spread. However, we are concerned a mandate will cripple an already strained supply chain. We estimate companies covered by the mandate could lose 37% of drivers at a time when the nation is already short 80,000 truck drivers. We ask for flexibility for transportation and supply chain essential workers, particularly truck drivers who spend most of their time in their trucks and have minimal contact with colleagues and customers.
The statement also repeats concerns over persistent supply chain issues and their effect on the economy:
While we represent different industries, we share the common burden of current supply chain disruptions, which are driving up prices and leading to a growing shortage of goods in the United States, with the holidays just around the corner.
As business leaders and proud Americans, we are firmly committed to this country’s economic recovery. We are working to usher in a return to normalcy and striving to help all Americans enjoy a better way of life by providing them with access to the essential products and supplies they need.
Since releasing the details of its vaccine mandate — which will be enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration — the White House has been slammed with a deluge of lawsuits from private businesses and state governments. Calling the mandate a “grotesque abuse of power,” Jeremy Boreing — co-founder and co-CEO of The Daily Wire — explained that the company has also filed suit against the Biden administration.
“We’re not the enforcement arm of the federal government. Forcing Americans to choose between their livelihoods and their freedom is a grotesque abuse of power and we won’t be a party to it,” Boreing said. “We will not incur the cost of implementing this testing regime. We will not incur the liability of inserting ourselves into the private health decisions and information of our employees. Our company was founded to stand against tyranny, and we will.”
“Corporations and states have certain responsibilities because we have the means to engage in this battle,” Boreing added. “We read story after story of individuals trying to make a stand. Of course, those individuals lose their jobs. They don’t have a way to make a stand against the government itself, so instead they make a stand against their employer and they suffer for it. Only the corporations themselves and the states, I think, can take an action that has the sort of collective power necessary to make a change.”