The Biden administration has discussed the possibility of manding vaccines for interstate travel, and while they have not decided to adopt the measure, it is still possible such a mandate could be coming.
The Associated Press reported that “White House officials say Biden wanted to initially operate with restraint to ensure that Americans were ready for the strong-arming from the federal government.”
Now, it appears the administration may be starting the “strong-arming” process, first by requiring millions of federal workers to honestly report their vaccination status or face penalties. The Pentagon also mandated vaccines for the U.S. military. But the AP insists Biden is holding back from imposing mandates on the American people, something that would quickly be legally challenged if he did so.
“But even as Biden becomes more aggressive, he has refrained from using all his powers to pressure Americans to get vaccinated. He’s held off, for instance, on proposals to require vaccinations for all air travelers or, for that matter, the federal workforce,” the AP reported. “The result is a precarious balancing act as Biden works to make life more uncomfortable for the unvaccinated without spurring a backlash in a deeply polarized country that would only undermine his public health goals.”
Among the more aggressive measures discussed by the White House are “mandating vaccines for interstate travel or changing how the federal government reimburses treatment for those who are unvaccinated and become ill with COVID-19.” And while those options have been discussed, the AP noted, “the administration worried that they would be too polarizing for the moment.”
But that doesn’t mean the Biden administration won’t implement those requirements in the future.
Former President Donald Trump previously hinted at restricting domestic flights to areas where COVID-19 was raging but never followed through with the idea.
How such a mandate would be enforced is a big question and would require people to be deployed to state borders to check vaccine cards as people enter states – a big undertaking that would come with numerous legal consequences.
The news that the Biden administration has even considered vaccine mandates for interstate travel (which would likely violate the Commerce Clause of the Constitution) and decided to change reimbursement rates for certain diseases and conditions (which would also likely see a court challenge) comes just days after Dr. Anthony Fauci suggested vaccines should be mandated for teachers.
“I’m going to upset people, but I think we should,” Fauci said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” earlier this week. “We’ve had 600,000-plus deaths and we are in a major surge now as we’re going into the fall, into the school season. This is very serious business.”
Fauci added, however, that he didn’t think the mandate should come from the federal government but from local governments.
“You’re talking about local mandates, for schools, for teachers for universities for colleges,” Fauci said. “I’m sorry. I know people must like to have their individual freedom and not be told to do something but I think we’re in such a serious situation now that under certain circumstances mandates should be done.”
“We obviously have to balance, you know, the discussion that we’ve had now for, you know, over a year is to balance the negative impact on kids from keeping them out of school,” Fauci added. He added that the new Delta variant could put children at risk, urging further steps to “surround the children with people, who if they are eligible to be vaccinated, get vaccinated… if you want to be around children, you have to do whatever you can to protect them. If you’re eligible to get vaccinated, get vaccinated since children of certain ages can’t get vaccinated.”
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