President Joe Biden’s New Mandate – Choice Between Job or Vaccine

President Joe Biden ordered a mandate in the beginning of September, requiring businesses with one hundred or more workers to get a vaccine or conduct weekly testing. Some Americans are not thrilled that they must decide between keeping their job or getting the vaccine.

In an address to the nation on September 9th, 2021, Biden said that the goal of the mandate is to reduce the spread of Covid-19 by increasing the number of vaccinated individuals in the workforce.

This mandate causes an increase in people “forced to decide whether they want to keep their jobs or get the vaccine,” says family Doctor Matt Schoenherr, who works at a hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. “Some will quit their jobs, while others do not have the flexibility to, meaning they will get the vaccine,” he adds. 

According to recent Census data, less than 2% of companies in the U.S. have more than 100 employees, yet they employ over 80 million workers. Failure to comply with this mandate will result in a fine up to $14,000.

“If the mandate goes through, I will go and work for someone that has less than one hundred employees,” says Kylie Pitts, who works at an asphalt company in Hutchinson, Kansas. “I’d rather go work somewhere else than get the vaccine.”

Pitts may have the ability to leave her job and find a new one, however not all Americans are that lucky.

Photo credit: Emily Zaal

Even businesses with less than 100 employees have been pressuring workers into vaccination. Darrion Ferguson, who works at a small business in Wisconsin, has grappled with deciding whether to get the vaccine. “My employers felt that it was more comfortable for them if I would get the vaccine,” he says. “I didn’t want to get it, but I needed to keep my job to make money.” 

From doctor Schoenherr’s perspective, the vaccine mandate is a step in the right direction. “I definitely think that the mandate should be put into place,” says Schoenherr. “The idea that we would mandate a vaccine to enter a public space is not a new concept.”

Considering the current situation of the covid-19 pandemic in the United States, Schoenherr believes the mandate is “necessary and crucial.”

Pitts, on the other hand, does not think the mandate will become official. “There are already people sending letters and suing, so I’m not too worried about it happening,” she says. “My employer is already coming up with something to combat the mandate.”

“Certainly, anytime the government steps in to require you to do something there’s going to be push back from the public,” argues Schoenherr. “But sometimes the risk to personal freedom is worth it for the general public.”

Photo by Obi Onyeador on Unsplash

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