US Senate Blocks Biden’s Vaccine Mandate
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) – The U.S. Senate on Wednesday voted to block President Joe Biden’s COVID vaccine and testing mandate for large employers in a warning to the White House ahead of turbulent mid-term elections next year.
Senate Republicans successfully forced a vote on a resolution to nullify the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for large employers in a 52-48 vote.
Commentators said the measure wasn’t likely to make it through the Democrat-controlled lower chamber, but there were signs of discontent about the mandate among Democrats.
Two Democratic Senators, Jon Tester from Montana and Joe Manchin from West Virginia, joined Republicans voting for the measure.
However, the White House indicated that President Biden would veto the anti-vaccine mandate in the unlikely chance that it passes the House.
“We certainly hope the Senate, Congress, will stand up to the anti-vaccine and -testing crowd. And we’re going to continue to work to implement these. If it comes to the president’s desk, he will veto it,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.
OMICRON BOOSTER SHOTS?
Wednesday’s vote came after pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and BioNTech claimed earlier in the day that only a third dose of their COVID-19 jabs may neutralize the new Omicron variant.
Those comments were expected to increase government pressure on Americans and people globally to receive a “booster shot.”
Vaccine skeptics have raised doubts as health officials in Australia’s Queensland state said overnight they found a new Omicron variant in a traveler who arrived from South Africa.
It was unclear whether vaccines would tackle these and other new emerging strains of the coronavirus.
In Washington, several U.S. senators made clear that vaccination should remain a personal choice. But under Biden’s mandate, employers with more than 100 employees would be required to have employees vaccinated or mandatory weekly testing for COVID-19.
The mandate was expected to take go into force on January 4 but still faces court challenges and possibly another legislative battle.
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