The Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has finally provided a draft of President Joe Biden's emergency order requiring COVID vaccines or weekly COVID testing for companies with at least 100 employees. OSHA submitted the draft of the emergency order to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review, after which the agency has 90 days to review the rule or send it back to OSHA for revisions.
According to CBN News, the full text of COVID vaccine mandate emergency order will not be published until OMB completes its review, but concerned citizens may request a meeting to provide input. In September, President Biden announced a sweeping new order that required COVID vaccines for private companies with at least 100 employees and federal workers and contractors. The mandate could impact up to 100 million Americans across the nation.
Republican leaders across the board opposed President Biden's COVID vaccine mandate but in the last weeks could not move to file a case against the Biden administration because the emergency order simply did not exist yet. The filing of OSHA of the draft to the White House signals the first step towards getting those lawsuits filed. At least 24 state attorneys general have announced their intent to file cases against the Biden administration if the mandate is implemented.
On Tuesday, Florida had carried out its first punishment on a county that violated a new state law that prohibits COVID vaccine mandates. Up to 14 workers were fired for refusing to get inoculated with the experimental drug. The Florida Department of Health slapped a $3.5 million fine against Leon County, which is home to the state capital, because officials violated Florida's "vaccine passport" law, which prevents businesses and governments from requiring people to show proof of COVID vaccination.
"These are people that, presumably, have been serving throughout this whole time and now all of a sudden they're basically getting kicked to the curb," Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis lamented during a news conference in St. Pete Beach. Later, he took to Twitter to declare, "No one should lose their jobs because of COVID shots."
Meanwhile in Texas, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order on Monday to ban "any entity" from requiring a COVID vaccine mandate on their workers. While anti-COVID vaccine mandate bills were met with success in Republican states such as Florida and Texas, the same cannot be said for Ohio. According to U.S. News, a House GOP bill that limits businesses' ability to mandate COVID vaccines has met another roadblock when leaders signaled that it would not be passed in its current form.
The bill appears to be more lenient than a previous measure that would have banned all types of vaccines, all major health groups and businesses in the state opposed the measure. Speaker Bob Cupp admitted that majority Republicans in the House still had no agreement on approving the measure. It was the second time Cupp halted action on the measure, citing that there were "widely differing views among Ohioans on this issue."