Last night, President Biden went into mad dad mode, chastising those naughty childish types who refuse both vaccines and masks. In order to bring these idiots into compliance, he has implemented vaccine mandates for certain employees: those working for companies employing 100 or more persons (those not vaccinated will have to be tested twice a week), healthcare workers in facilities receiving federal funds, executive branch personnel, and contractors working for the federal government:
My job as president is to protect all Americans. So tonight, I’m announcing that the Department of Labor is developing an emergency rule to require all employers with 100 or more employees that together employ over 80 million workers to ensure their work forces are fully vaccinated or show a negative test at least once a week.
My plan will extend the vaccination requirements that I previously issued in the health care field. Already, I’ve announced we’ll be requiring vaccinations that all nursing home workers who treat patients on Medicare and Medicaid, because I have that federal authority.
Tonight I’m using that same authority to expand that to cover those who work in hospitals, home health care facilities or other medical facilities. A total of 17 million health care workers. If you’re seeking care at a health facility, you should be able to know that the people treating you are vaccinated — simple, straightforward, period.
Next, I will sign an executive order that will now require all executive branch federal employees to be vaccinated — all. I’ve signed another executive order that will require federal contractors to do the same. If you want to work with the federal government and do business with us, get vaccinated. If you want to do business with the federal government, vaccinate your work force.
Thankfully, Biden also mandated stiffer penalties for assholes who abuse in-flight personnel, doubling the previous fines. Personally, I feel that lifetime flying bans and even public beatings (I'm only half joking) should be added to the penalties:
Today, tonight, I’m announcing that the Transportation Safety
Administration, the T.S.A., will double the fines on travelers that
refuse to mask. If you break the rules, be prepared to pay. And by the
way, show some respect. The anger you see on television toward flight
attendants and others doing their jobs is wrong. It’s ugly.
Biden also had strong words about the Republican politicians which have fought against state and local mask-and-vaccine mandates:
While the vaccines provide strong protection for the vaccinated, we read about and hear about and we see the stories of hospitalized people, people on their death beds among the unvaccinated over the past few weeks. This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated.
And it’s caused by the fact that despite America having unprecedented and successful vaccination program — despite the fact that for almost five months, free vaccines have been available in 80,000 different locations — we still have nearly 80 million Americans who have failed to get the shot. And to make matters worse, there are elected officials actively working to undermine the fight against Covid-19. Instead of encouraging people to get vaccinated and mask up, they are ordering mobile morgues for the unvaccinated dying from Covid in our communities. This is totally unacceptable.
Let me be blunt. My plan also takes on elected officials in states that are undermining you and these lifesaving actions. Right now, local school officials are trying to keep children safe in a pandemic while their governor picks a fight with them and even threatens their salaries or their jobs. Talk about bullying in schools.
If they will not help, if those governors won’t help us beat the pandemic, I’ll use my power as president to get them out of the way. The Department of Education has already begun to take legal action against states undermining protection that local school officials have ordered. Any teacher or school official whose pay is withheld for doing the right thing, we will have that pay restored by the federal government, 100 percent. I promise you, I will have your back.
President Biden also spoke of protecting workers who need time off for vaccination, and of seeking equity in COVID response for communities of color. He also spoke of providing doses of vaccines to poorer countries, and promised to release a detailed pandemic preparedness plan- notably, the Obama administration left Trump a pandemic response plan, which was ignored.
The speech was forceful and, as President Biden put it, blunt- it was the speech of an angry parent who has had enough of recalcitrance among his charges. Sure, the mandates will be challenged by Republican officials who wish to see Biden fail, even if it causes the deaths of their constituents, but such mandates as Biden has proposed have long been deemed constitutional. Sadly, the current Supreme Court, dominated by right-wing whackaloons, will most likely ignore precedent. The next few months will be a shitshow, but with last night's speech, Joe Biden showed that he means business, and will use his authority as Chief Executive to save people who will resent him for their deliverance.