Shortly before leaving for Nantucket Tuesday afternoon, the White House announced President Joe Biden will require all non-resident essential workers crossing into the United States be fully vaccinated for coronavirus.
“President Joe Biden will require essential, nonresident travelers crossing U.S. land borders, such as truck drivers, government and emergency response officials, to be fully vaccinated beginning on Jan. 22, the administration planned to announce Tuesday,” the Associated Press reports.
“Essential travelers entering by ferry will also be required to be fully vaccinated by the same date, the official said. The official spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity to preview the announcement.”
The workers Biden is targeting were considered essential throughout the height of the pandemic in 2020 when vaccines weren’t available. Despite working on the frontlines during the crisis, regularly exposing themselves to risk, workers now face the inability to do their jobs due to a new government mandate. Essential workers coming into the U.S. from Mexico and Canada are often delivering goods and food.
Domestically, the American Trucking Associations filed a lawsuit earlier this month opposing Biden’s vaccine mandate for private businesses and warned the government regulation could further exacerbate the supply chain crisis. The trucking industry already faces a driver shortage.
“To be very clear, ATA and its member companies support efforts to encourage all Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19 – our trucks and drivers have been on the front line in fighting this pandemic since the beginning, moving personal protective equipment, test kits, the vaccine itself and much more as the country locked down, but we believe that the Biden Administration has overstepped its statutory authority in issuing this Emergency Temporary Standard,” ATA President and CEO Chris Spear released in a statement about the lawsuit. “This standard arbitrarily picks winners and losers, and puts employers in an untenable position of forcing workers to choose between working and their private medical decisions, which is something that cannot be allowed.”
“We told the administration that this mandate, given the nature of our industry and makeup of our workforce, could have devastating impacts on the supply chain and the economy and they have, unfortunately, chosen to move forward despite those warnings,” he continued. “So we are now, regrettably, forced to seek to have this mandate overturned in court.”
Meanwhile, despite the Fifth Circuit Court of appeals and OSHA halting the implementation and enforcement of Biden’s vaccine mandate for private businesses, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has urged employers to move forward with mandates.
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