Where Biden is offering coercion and risking recession should millions opt out of taking the vaccine and lose their jobs, he should try persuasion and something he apparently lacks — leadership.
On Sept. 9, President Biden announced that as a condition for keeping their jobs, Americans who work at employers with 100 or more employees, plus health care workers who minister to Medicare and Medicaid patients — approximately 97 million Americans — would have to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Immediately, with 23 percent of working-age adults still unvaccinated, about 22 million Americans would see their livelihoods threatened without due process of law. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) derives its powers from the Commerce Clause. According to 29 CFR § 1975.2: “The power of Congress to regulate employment conditions … is derived mainly from the Commerce Clause of the Constitution.”
Biden’s vaccine mandate would stretch Congress’ power over interstate commerce. And it would represent Congress’ most invasive attempt to regulate not commerce but individual health decisions, leaving no effective limit to the power to control individual behavior — a totalitarian safety blanket that could eventually control how much we eat or exercise, what medicines we consume and whether we drink or smoke. If we accept a government this powerful in our lives, this will be merely the beginning of a regime that regulates every aspect of our lives.
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