Congress, Illegal Migrants Exempt From Biden’s Vaccine Mandates BUT Truckers Are NOT
Washington D.C. – Trucking stakeholders have many unanswered questions about the Biden Administration’s newly unveiled COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
On Thursday, President Joe Biden announced a series of sweeping new Executive Orders (EOs) and regulatory measures to force businesses — employing 100 people or more — to require its workers to take the COVID-19 vaccine or test negative weekly.
Businesses which fail to comply could be slapped with penalties of $14,000 per violation.
The President’s EOs also require federal employees to be vaccinated with no option to opt out via weekly testing, as well as all employees of federal contractors to be fully vaccinated.
However, two groups not covered by Mr. Biden’s EOs are members of the United States Congress and migrants illegally entering the country.
According to the White House, the orders only pertain to Executive Branch employees, NOT those in the Legislative or Judicial branches such as members of Congress, their staff, and federal judges and their colleagues.
Additionally, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed today that the Biden Administration is not requiring vaccination or testing of the ongoing flood of people illegally crossing America’s southern border.
Meanwhile, the authoritarian-style mandates have been met with outrage and anger from many within the trucking community.
One CEO of a motor carrier covered by the mandate told Transportation Nation Network (TNN) that President Biden is essentially asking companies to become the “covid police” and thus incur the costs associated with tracking employees’ vaccine status and/or weekly testing.
During a press briefing on Friday, Psaki was asked about the cost burdens placed on employers whose employees resist the vaccine and instead opt for weekly testing.
“It’s certainly more cost-effective to require vaccines,” Psaki stated. “Most of these businesses can absolutely afford it and what we are talking about here is saving peoples lives and protecting them.”
A growing number of Republican state governors have already expressed they will file suit against the federal government over the “unconstitutional” mandates.
However, another CEO who manages a fleet of hundreds of trucks told TNN if the mandates do survive the expected flurry of court challenges he anticipates a significant supply chain disruption.
“I don’t think that will fly for truck drivers unless you want to see our driver shortage get worse,” he said.
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There is also concern among some stakeholders that carriers not subject to the mandates could use this as an opportunity to recruit vaccine hesitant drivers away from larger companies.
Multiple trusted legal sources told TNN that larger carriers could also have standing to file suit against the federal government since the mandates would “arbitrarily” impose different workforce and hiring standards than those on smaller companies.
Another galling realization for some in the trucking community is that many of the drivers who braved the pandemic delivering America’s desperately needed supplies and essential items will now be forced to choose between taking a vaccine they don’t want — or believe they need — or possibly lose their job.
TNN’s social media pages are filled with comments from truckers vowing to either exit the industry or move to a carrier not subject to the vaccine/testing requirements if the mandates take effect.
TransportationNation.com will have much more on this issue in the days ahead.