In the U.S., more than 800,000 people are being infected with COVID-19 every day. Yet the Supreme Court has delivered a resounding slap in the face to President Joe Biden. A commentary.
The omicron variant is spreading like wildfire in the U.S. But in a venerable white columned building in Washington, reality is being staunchly defied. The Supreme Court has blocked the president’s requirements related to vaccination and testing at large companies.
On a political level, the blocking of the rules requiring staff at workplaces in the U.S. to be either vaccinated or masked and tested weekly represents a bitter setback for Joe Biden, whose COVID-19 policies are already looking increasingly weak. Now the Supreme Court has quashed his most important means of tackling low vaccination rates.
The court’s critique that the government fails to consider the varying risk of infection in different industries may convince legal experts. However, in the reality of a global pandemic, in which even minimally invasive measures such as mask wearing and testing are discredited by right-leaning populist governors, it seems fairly out of touch. It can only be hoped that more companies follow the example of United Airlines and meat packer Tyson Foods in unilaterally mandating vaccination among their staff. These companies are not motivated by ideological reasons but pure necessity: As so many employees are calling in sick with COVID-19, many businesses are encountering problems.