The Occupational Safety and Health Administration on Tuesday submitted its proposed rules requiring large employers to mandate vaccines to the Office of Management and Budget, which will review the rule and publish it in the Federal Register.
But to the credit of businesses, many have not waited for the OSHA rule to begin implementing mandates. In some cases, this has meant going up against a MAGA governor bent on pandering to the base at the expense of the health and lives of residents. Florida officials last week put out a list of about 100 businesses it might go after for insisting that employees or customers present proof of vaccination. (The state is also levying huge fines against counties for instituting vaccine requirements.)
Time magazine reports that Texas-based companies such as Dell, American and Southwest Airlines and several large hospitals will follow the president’s federal directive for businesses with more than 100 employees and look after their employees and customers, regardless of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s determined effort to prevent them from requiring vaccinations. (How someone calling himself a “conservative” can claim the power to micromanage private businesses to make them less safe is beyond me.)
Businesses have received a lot of criticism lately for reneging on promises not to fund candidates who participated in the violent insurrection or for equivocating on voting rights. When they do act responsibly, risking the ire of state officials and vengeful MAGA politicians, they should be applauded. In defying the MAGA death cult, business leaders are demonstrating what “pro-life” actually means.
Americans can certainly help by getting themselves vaccinated, but also by frequenting businesses that have instituted mandates. Moreover, voters can kick out state officials who are deliberately sabotaging efforts to ensure that as many people as possible are vaccinated against a deadly disease.
The good news is that mandates are quite effective. Reuters reported: “Vaccination rates against covid-19 in the United States have risen by more than 20 percentage points after multiple institutions adopted vaccine requirements, while case numbers and deaths from the virus are down.” Roughly 66 million eligible Americans still are not vaccinated, but that is a huge improvement from 80 million or so before Biden rolled out his directive on vaccine mandates in early September.
This is a fine example of presidential leadership inspiring responsible, private-sector conduct. If only red-state governors would care as much about saving lives as businesses, local government officials and medical professionals in their states do, we might end the pandemic once and for all.
To business leaders who have pushed forward with vaccine mandates, sometimes in defiance of grossly irresponsible state governments, we can say: Well done.