Biden’s Vaccine Mandates Getting Crushed

The Wall Street Journal asks an intriguing question: “What legal sage advised President Biden to impose vaccine mandates?” They reason that legal adviser needs to have his law license pulled because the courts are repudiating the Biden Administration’s mandates at every opportunity.

A federal judge in Georgia is the latest to block the Administration’s vaccine requirement for employees of federal contractors – the fifth judicial rebuke in less than a month. Judge R. Stan Baker ruled in a challenge brought by seven states that the Administration had exceeded its authority under the Federal Property and Administrative Service Act.  The President claimed his executive order would “promote economy and efficiency in procurement” by contracting with sources “that provide adequate Covid-19 safeguards for their workforce.”

Judge Baker went on to say the law does not give the President “the right to impose virtually any kind of requirement on businesses that wish to contract with the Government (and, thereby, on those businesses’ employees) so long as he determines it could lead to a healthier and thus more efficient workforce or it could reduce absenteeism.”

Judge Baker is not alone. Last week federal Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove enjoined the Administration from enforcing the contractor mandate in Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. While conceding that Congress delegated broad power to the president, the judge noted that his “authority is not absolute” and the President’s overreach raises “several concerning statutory and constitutional implications.” The mandate “intrudes on an area that is traditionally reserved to the States,” wrote this judge, noting the Constitution grants the states general police powers to regulate public health and welfare.

Two judges recently scored the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for exceeding its authority by mandating vaccines for employees of healthcare providers that receive government funds. The Social Security Act authorizes CMS to prescribe rules and regulations that may be necessary to carry out the Medicaid and Medicare programs. But these judges both noted the Supreme Court has said that Congress must “speak clearly if it wishes to assign to an agency, decisions of vast economic and political significance.”

Louisiana Judge Terry Doughty said, “If CMS has the authority by a general authorization statute to mandate vaccines, they have authority to do almost anything they believe necessary, holding the hammer of termination of the Medicare/Medicaid Provider Agreement.” This same judge blasted CMS for skipping notice-and-comment, and failing to consider surgical alternatives to its sweeping mandate and the reliance interest of states and providers on federal funds.

These recent judicial smackdowns come on the heels of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling early last month that stayed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s vaccinate-or-test mandate for workers of employers with 100 or more employees. The Fifth Circuit ruled against the Biden Administration on procedural, statutory, and constitutional grounds.

The Biden Administration is still trying to convince federal employees these mandates are in their best interests. “The goal of the federal employee vaccination requirement is to protect federal workers, not to punish them,” wrote the Office of Personnel Management and Office of Management and Budget leaders to executive agencies.  They added, “We encourage your agencies to continue with robust education and counseling efforts through this holiday season as the first step in an enforcement process, with no subsequent enforcement actions.”

WSJ editors ask, “Why not do the same for private employers and workers? The White House is punishing private workers while inoculating government servants from its overreach.”

It’s time to stop the mandates. We’re nearly two years into this Covid-19 pandemic and every adult by now must know the risks of Covid-19 and the ways to mitigate that risk through vaccines, wearing masks, hand-sanitizing, and social distancing. Adults can make their own decisions about vaccines and those who choose to avoid vaccination have accepted the risks. If you’re worried about the virus, get vaccinated. If you’re more worried about the vaccines, then voluntarily take the necessary precautions. Let’s stop trying to control people. Vaccine mandates only disrupt our economy, impair the provision of necessary services, increase unemployment, and violate the civil liberties of all Americans.

The judicial branch consistently says they are illegal. Time to find better legal advisors, Mr. President.

Omicron Fears Unfounded


It’s now just over a month since the first Omicron variant of Covid-19 was discovered in South Africa. The first death attributed to this new variant was just reported in Great Britain.

Stop and think about that for a moment. As of December 10th, six days ago, 21 countries in the European Union had reported cases of this new Covid-19 variant. The United States has reported Omicron cases in 25 states. Yesterday, Great Britain reported the first death related to Omicron.  One death despite nearly three thousand cases have been identified worldwide, and there are undoubtedly many others yet to be identified. The map below tracks the countries where Omicron cases have been identified.

We can’t even be sure that one death was directly caused by the virus. The British newspapers only report this person died with Omicron, not because of Omicron. It is entirely possible Omicron was not the real cause of death. We know this is certainly true of many cases attributed to Covid-19 in this country that were actually caused by other organ failures such as heart attacks. But because the hospitals are required to report all Covid-19 cases, and because they receive additional compensation from insurers for Covid treatments, statistics on Covid-caused deaths are unreliable.

I am certainly not suggesting that this one death in Great Britain will be the only one reported for Omicron, nor that this one death is insignificant to the family of the deceased. But this certainly is no reason for fear-mongering about this new Covid variant.

From the beginning, South African medical authorities reported only mild cases associated with the Omicron variant. Even though South Africa is the epicenter of this variant, they have yet to report any Omicron-related deaths. Nevertheless, politicians are not wasting this opportunity to once-again exert their authority over the lives of their constituents.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Great Britain was quick to sound the alarm with this one reported death. Speaking at a London vaccination clinic, Johnson said: “Omicron is producing hospitalizations and sadly at least one patient has now been confirmed to have died with Omicron. I think the idea that this is somehow a milder version of the virus, I think that’s something we need to set on one side and just recognize the sheer pace at which it accelerates through the population.”

U.K. Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the number of Omicron infections “is doubling every two to three days,” and warned, “we’re in a new race, whether we like it or not, between the virus and the vaccine.” In London, the variant already accounts for 40 percent of coronavirus cases, and will soon become the dominant strain of COVID-19, Johnson added.

Again, stop and think about what Johnson and Javid said. They report cases “doubling every two to three days” with 40 percent of these cases attributed to Omicron. Yet they’ve only seen one death thus far. That certainly confirms two things: Omicron is highly contagious and will spread quickly; Omicron is mild and rarely fatal.

Dr. Marty Makary of Johns Hopkins University says, “T-Cell immunity is strong and effective against Omicron. This is the most significant (and overlooked) scientific paper of the entire Omicron saga. The fixation on antibody levels has diverted attention away from comprehensive immunity, including cellular.”

He is referring to a study published in bioRXiv that reports: “The newly identified Omicron variant of concern contains more mutations than any of the previous variants described to date. In addition, many of the mutations associated with the Omicron variant are found in areas that are likely bound by neutralizing antibodies, suggesting that the first line of immunological defense against COVID-19 may be compromised. However, both natural infection and vaccination develop T-cell based responses, in addition to antibodies. This study examined if the parts of the virus, or epitopes, targeted by the CD8+ T-cell response in thirty individuals who recovered from COVID-19 in 2020 were mutated in the Omicron variant. Only one of 52 epitopes identified in this population contained an amino acid that was mutated in Omicron. These data suggest that the T-cell immune response in previously infected, and most likely vaccinated individuals, should still be effective against Omicron.”

The panic over Omicron is not founded in science. It is the product of fearful minds and politicians eager to use their authority to control our lives. The usual precautions for Covid are warranted: get vaccinated or take appropriate risk-mitigating precautions. But stop panicking over Omicron – or any other variant. We’re approaching an endemic situation where we all need to learn to live with this virus – and get on with our lives. (see Covid Becoming Endemic)

Biden’s Dubious Milestone


It’s easier to talk about running a marathon than to run a marathon. In the same way, it’s easier to talk about being president than being president.

President Joe Biden is learning this simple lesson the hard way, like so many others. In the presidential campaign of 2020, as the Democratic nominee for president, Biden took a cheap shot at President Trump. He said, “Anyone who is responsible for that many deaths should not remain as President of the United States of America.” At the time the U.S. had recorded 220,000 Covid deaths.

With the announcement that Covid deaths have now surpassed the toll in 2020 with 350,000 since Inauguration Day, perhaps Biden should take his own advice and resign, or at least eat some humble pie with his Thanksgiving dinner.  According to The Wall Street Journal, It would seem that Mr. Biden has done no better than Donald Trump in defeating Covid despite the benefit of vaccines, better therapies, and more clinical experience. The left politicized Covid by holding Mr. Trump responsible for a disease that was always going to be hard to defeat.”

Biden didn’t stop there. He had the audacity to say in the same campaign, “If the president had done his job, had done his job from the beginning, all the people would still be alive.” WSJ editorial board says, “That was as false as anything Mr. Trump ever said, but most journalists and experts agreed with the basic premise: Mr. Trump had blood on his hands. The world’s medical journals called for Mr. Trump’s defeat.” 

A New England Journal of Medicine editorial headlined “Dying in a Leadership Vacuum” called the Administration “dangerously incompetent” and declared “we should not abet them and enable the deaths of thousands more Americans by allowing them to keep their jobs.” WSJ says “No wonder so many conservatives don’t trust these health experts.”

Mr. Biden famously promised “to shut down the virus, not the country,” and he accused Mr. Trump of having “no plan.” Mr. Trump did downplay the virus in the early part of 2020, apparently to avoid widespread panic, and he needlessly put himself in the middle of almost every debate over the disease and possible treatments, instead of letting his medical experts carry the debate. But time has shown some of his experts, notably Dr. Anthony Fauci, have made a mess of misinformation on their own.

Little or no credit has been given the Trump administration by this current White House occupant for developing the Covid vaccines and a distribution plan. But they have largely followed that plan and used those vaccines on their own. One has to wonder, however, how much the Biden administration contributed to the pushback against the vaccines by so many Americans by their draconian vaccine and mask mandates. Americans have a history of pushing back when the federal government tries to take away our liberties.

The U.S. led most of the world in vaccinations this past spring. But the more Biden demanded people get vaccinated, the more Americans became skeptical of the same vaccines, though they were developed under the Trump administration. When the more transmissible Delta variant arrived, Biden had no plan to deal with its rapid spread. By late September, daily deaths exceeded 2,000 – more than twice as many as a year earlier – under Trump.

Biden played the blame game, attacking popular governors like Florida’s Ron DeSantis and Texas’ Greg Abbott. He particularly attacked unvaccinated conservatives, yet blacks and young people have also shown reluctance to get vaccinated, and no one believes most of them are Republican. Furthermore, his vaccine mandates have served to further polarize the country, exactly the opposite of what he was elected to do.

WSJ editorial board says, “We recount all this not to blame Mr. Biden for this year’s Covid deaths. The truth last year and this year is that the virus is impossible for any politician to control, much less eliminate. Mr. Biden used the illusion he could vanquish the virus to win election, and he is now paying a political price because he hasn’t.” Buyer’s remorse, anyone?