The United States Supreme Court on Thursday blocked Joe Biden’s decision to impose the anti-Covid vaccine on companies with more than 100 employees, inflicting a major setback on the Democratic president and undermining his efforts to contain the pandemic.
The high court, on the other hand, validated the vaccination obligation for employees of health structures that benefit from federal funds.
In the United States, where the virus has killed more than 845,000, only 62% of the population is fully vaccinated because of very marked political divisions on the issue.
After months of trying to convince the reluctant, Joe Biden announced in September that he wanted to make vaccination mandatory for employees of large companies, the medical sector and federal officials.
62% of people vaccinated
In the country of individual freedoms, his decision was immediately denounced as an abuse of power by elected Republican officials and by part of the economic world.
The Supreme Court ruled in their favor on Thursday, at least with regard to the approximately 84 million people employed in companies with more than 100 employees.
The administration has them “ordered to be vaccinated against Covid or be tested weekly, at their own expense. It is not the daily exercise of federal power, but an intrusion into the life and health of a large number of employees.“, she wrote in her judgment.
The decision was taken with a majority of six out of nine magistrates, all conservatives. In a separate text, the three progressive judges of the Court accused them of having acted “outside their field of competence and without legal basis“.
“I’m disappointed the Supreme Court chose to block a common sense, potentially life-saving motion“, commented Joe Biden who has made the fight against the pandemic one of the priorities of his mandate.
The experts were even more pessimistic. “Decision will lead to more suffering, death and overwhelmed hospitals“Ashish Jha, a public health researcher at Brown University, tweeted.
Decision will lead to more suffering, death and overwhelmed hospitals
Republicans, on the other hand, were retiring.
“Freedom won!former Republican Vice President Mike Pence tweeted, illustrating a view widely shared on the right that it is up to individuals to choose their means of protection over both wearing a mask and getting the vaccine.
“We are proud that the Supreme Court resisted“, added former President Donald Trump, who, during his mandate appointed three judges within the temple of American law.
Some professional associations have also welcomed a “huge victory“, while reaching out to the Democratic government.
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“We call on the Biden administration to […] work with employers, employees and health experts on concrete ways to increase vaccination rates and slow contamination“said David French of the National Federation of Traders.
Small consolation for the president: the Supreme Court validated, with the votes of three progressive judges and two conservatives, the vaccination obligation in health centers, which concerns about 10 million people.
“Ensuring that healthcare facilities take steps to avoid transmitting a dangerous virus to their patients is a fundamental tenet of the medical profession: first, do no harm“, they justified in their judgment.