The White House encouraged businesses to push workers to get vaccinated for coronavirus, despite a federal court injunction temporarily staying the Biden administration’s vaccination requirement for large employers.
When asked what the administration thinks employers should do at this stage, White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that employers should encourage vaccinations.
“We say, do not wait to take actions that will keep your workplace safe,” Jean-Pierre said. “People should not wait. They should continue to move forward and make sure they’re getting their workplace vaccinated.”
Jean-Pierre added, “It is important and critical to do, and waiting to get more people vaccinated will lead to more outbreaks and sickness.”
The comments come after the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered an injunction against the mandate on Saturday, concluding that there could be “grave statutory and constitutional issues” with the requirement.
The outline of the mandate was released on Thursday: It will require businesses with 100 or more employees to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for workers. Unvaccinated employees would be allowed to continue to work as long as they submit weekly COVID tests and wear a mask on the job.
President Biden ordered the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration to develop the mandate. However, the lawsuit filed in the Fifth Circuit by Texas, Louisiana, and various businesses, claims that the mandate does not fall under OSHA’s authority.