President Joe Biden cannot order employees of the federal government to receive the coronavirus vaccine, a federal appeals court ruled this week.
The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans rejected an argument that, like a CEO of a company, Biden can order his employees to get vaccinated, according to the Associated Press. The order upholds a previous preliminary injunction that blocks the mandate. Biden and his lawyers have fought to reinstate it, despite nearly 98 percent of federal employees being vaccinated as of January 2022.
The White House is still defending the order, saying in a statement that "vaccination remains one of the most important tools to protect people from serious illness and hospitalizations.'' Yet the Biden administration is allowing the COVID-19 emergency order to end on May 11.
The ruling comes after years of the Biden administration criticizing Republican governors for lax pandemic measures and avoiding vaccine requirements. Yet a new study released by the Lancet found no connection between a governor’s political affiliation and the number of COVID-related deaths, with the highest death rates in Washington, D.C., New Mexico, and Arizona.
It’s not the first time the Biden administration has fought to install outdated pandemic measures. As late as January, it was fighting to reinstate the mask mandate on airplanes. Anthony Fauci recently said Americans should get boosters "at least once a year."