On Monday, the Biden White House announced that it will finally put an end to national COVID-19 vaccine mandates for federal employees and federal contractors.
As reported by Fox News, May 11th is also the date that the Chinese coronavirus public health emergency will expire, and the Biden Administration has no plans to renew it. The mandate for federal employees and contractors, as well as international air travelers, is the last national vaccine mandate that remained in place after legal challenges brought down similar mandates for private businesses.
“Additionally, HHS and DHS announced today that they will start the process to end their vaccination requirements for Head Start educators, CMS-certified healthcare facilities, and certain noncitizens at the land border,” the White House said in its statement. “In the coming days, further details related to ending these requirements will be provided.”
The Chinese coronavirus vaccine mandates were always the most controversial aspect of the American response to the pandemic. Although the three official vaccines – developed by Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson – were developed under the presidency of Donald Trump, President Trump never ordered or required vaccination at the federal level. Upon taking power, Joe Biden vowed to force all Americans to get vaccinated, and thus pursued vaccine mandates in every aspect of American life.
The most widely-opposed mandate that Biden attempted to implement would have forced vaccinations for every private business with 100 employees or more. However, the Supreme Court struck down that mandate as government overreach, noting that the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) did not have the authority to declare such a mandate without congressional approval. An additional mandate, forcing vaccinations for healthcare workers at facilities funded by Medicare and Medicaid, was also upheld by the Supreme Court alongside the mandate for federal employees.