White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has been heavily questioned on the new vaccine mandate for employers with more than 100 workers and why it should not also apply to migrants at the southern border.
Fox News reporter Peter Doocy first asked her “why is it it that you’re trying to require anybody with a job, or anybody who has a job, or anybody who goes to school, to get a COVID-19 vaccine, but you’re not requiring that of migrants who continue to walk across the southern border.” Psaki responded that the objective is “to get as many people vaccinated across the country as humanly possible,” adding that when “more people are vaccinated, whether they are migrants or whether they are workers, protects more people in the United States.”
Psaki said the following when discussing the vaccine mandate: “This is a tool and a step that we have legal authority for,” Psaki responded. “But no, we don’t have the ability to tell every American you have to be vaccinated. There’s a means of encouraging it, of mandating it through certain pathways, and that’s exactly what we’ve done.”
Psaki’s comment comes after White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain was criticized for retweeting MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle’s description of Biden’s employer vaccine mandate as a ‘workaround’. “OSHA doing this vaxx mandate as an emergency workplace safety rule is the ultimate work-around for the Federal govt to require vaccinations,” the tweet said.
Constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley called the retweet ‘breathtakingly daft’. “The retweet was breathtakingly daft on the eve of litigation over the order, Turley said. “It is reminiscent of President Biden admitting that his own White House counsel and their preferred legal experts all said that the eviction moratorium extension was likely unconstitutional.”
“Courts will now be asked to ignore the admission and uphold a self-admitted evasion of constitutional limits,” Turley added. The Biden administration has faced criticism from conservatives and Republican governors for the vaccine mandate on employers.
Psaki was asked multiple times during the press conference about the legality of the mandate, which the administration says is rooted in a 1970 OSHA law. “Congress passed a law in 1970,” Psaki said. “The Occupational Safety and Health Act…requires the Department of Labor, take action when it finds grave risk to workers. Certainly, a pandemic…qualifies as grave risk.”