Columns

Joe Biden Has Mandated a Vaccine for 80 Million Employees. Now Let Him Enforce It.

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

Joe Biden has decided to order a vaccine mandate and compel obedience to government policy after saying for months that he’d do no such thing.

But it’s difficult to resist the siren song of authoritarianism if you’re president — all that power and no one to command. So forcing people to get poked in the arm and receive the magic elixir is about all Biden can do to exercise authority

The problem is that someone forgot to tell Old Joe that he doesn’t have the power to force private-sector businesses to comply with his mandate. This is completely understandable. If you worked in the White House, would you have the guts to tell the guy you work for, “Sorry Mr. President, but the Constitution doesn’t give you the authority to boss around people who don’t directly work for you”?

I didn’t think so.

Sadly, it’s not likely the federal courts will put the kibosh on Biden’s delusions of power either. Most federal circuit courts have pretty much given up on the notion of restraining executive power and will gladly give Biden the legal cover he needs to compel vaccinations.

The president plans to enlist several federal agencies to help him in his power play. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is expected to issue rules that would force employers with more than 100 workers to compel employees to be vaccinated. There’s also the power of the federal purse, as Biden can easily withhold federal payments and federal contracts to companies that dare defy the mandate.

The only realistic way that the federal government will be able to compel citizens to take the vaccine is by segregating American society into those who have been vaccinated and those who choose not to be vaccinated. The easy way to do that is by giving everyone “papers” — or a “vaccine passport,” if you prefer.

Just to tickle the left, let’s call it the “Jim Crow Memorial Vaccine Passport.”

Whatever we call it, the people pushing it are deadly serious.

Washington Post:

For vaccine mandates to succeed, they must be accompanied by a reliable and secure method for verifying proof of vaccination. Israel has long used the government-issued Green Pass to prove immunity, and the European Union has introduced a digital covid-19 certificate across all 27 member nations, as well as Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. It’s shameful that all the United States can come up with is a paper CDC card. Verification of vaccination should be taken just as seriously as, say, going through a TSA checkpoint at the airport. When asked for your ID, you can’t just produce an easily forged piece of paper. Neither should that be sufficient to prove that you’re immunized against a potentially deadly disease.

Some private entities have developed health passes that display a person’s vaccine status and the date of their last negative test. At very least, the Biden administration should use these more secure passes for federal employees. I hold out hope that administration officials will change their minds about vaccine passports — as I and many others have — and finally get behind a national vaccine verification system.

Well, that settles it. If it’s good enough for the Europeans, what could possibly be wrong?

The United States ended legal segregation 50 years ago. Are we now to reestablish an apartheid system and punish those who — for reasons that are no one’s business, least of all the government’s — have chosen not to be vaccinated?

There’s no reason to require a COVID passport any more than we should require a passport to show vaccination status for mumps, rubella, measles, or any other contagious disease. Those childhood diseases can be quite deadly if contracted by vulnerable adults susceptible to serious illness from the coronavirus. And yet, the world continues to turn, the sun comes up every morning, and humanity struggles forward — all without succumbing to the temptation to force people to display their vaccination status against COVID.

Instead of a vaccine passport, I think a vaccine tattoo would be super cool. All the kids today would love it and while old fuddy-duddies like me might question the sanity of people who permanently deface their bodies with what some people consider “art,” vaccine tattoos would no doubt become all the rage. They would trend on all the social media platforms. Influencers would be at their most creative — and annoying — in pushing the notion of getting jabbed.

In all seriousness, Biden’s only options in enforcing a vaccine mandate are unAmerican. Threatening people with the loss of their livelihood unless they obey is not the tactic of the president of a great republic.