NEWS ANALYSIS: While many praised President Joe Biden’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination order, many rose in protest

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Protests sprung up across the country after President Joe’s Biden’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination order.

President Joe Biden recently ordered the mandatory vaccination of many federal and private-sector companies that have over 100 employees. With the growing spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 on the coattails of fearful Americans, many met President Biden’s order with great admiration. However, others questioned the constitutionality of a mandatory vaccination, as well as the repercussions of setting a potentially dangerous precedent.

President Biden’s mandate impacts about 100 million people nationwide. If these workers are not vaccinated, they will be required to take weekly tests for COVID-19. Federal health care workers are also required to be fully vaccinated or face possible termination.

Biden backed up his announcement with a direct call out to those Americans who have thus far resisted getting vaccinated, explaining, “We’ve been patient. But our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us.”

This comes after months of many Americans feeling as though the lackluster encouragement from the Biden administration to receive the COVID-19 vaccine has been the main reason for a surge in cases. Along with the highly contagious Delta variant, many found that Biden wasn’t doing enough and his claim that the nation was “independent” from the virus proved to be premature.

Supporters of the mandate appreciate Biden’s long overdue sense of urgency in stopping the spread of COVID-19. More vaccinated Americans on the streets mean that those who are vaccinated are safer, those who are unvaccinated are safer, and those who have COVID-19 are not easily spreading it to others. 

Many Americans find it imperative that people get vaccinated as the excitement to receive COVID-19 vaccinations dies down. When the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines were initially approved by the FDA, eager Americans practically camped in line to receive their dose once their age group was eligible. Now, those who are still unvaccinated include skeptics and “anti-vaxxers” who also tend to avoid wearing face coverings. 

Biden’s order will make the decision for those on the fence and aid in protecting everyone. Experts in the medical field are happy to make this decision, understanding that the time to act is now. The New York Times highlighted the opinion of Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert who compared the vaccination process to the military in war times.

“‘To date, we have relied on a volunteer army,’” Schaffner told The Times. “‘But particularly with the Delta variant, the enemy has been reinforced, and now a volunteer army is not sufficient. We need to institute a draft.’”

Mandating the COVID-19 vaccine will only provide relief in terms of preventing the virus from spreading. The fewer unvaccinated people there are in the United States, the less people become dangerously ill when contracting the virus. Even with the vaccine, people can contract the virus; however, symptoms are drastically less serious and the survival rate is far higher. 

On the other hand, many American citizens and legislators are unsure whether the mandatory institute of vaccinations is even constitutional, and many are against the idea altogether. Republican members of Congress were quick to attack the president’s policy, saying that a mandate of the COVID-19 vaccine is a breach of individual freedoms.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott was very open in his opposition to Biden’s mandate when he issued an executive order allowing Texans to choose whether they receive the COVID-19 vaccine or not. Abbott called the president’s order a “power grab” and argued for Americans having the right to choose what they do or do not put in their bodies when it comes to COVID-19. However, Abbott’s stance on the vaccination claiming people have the right to control their own bodies doesn’t quite jibe with the Texas anti-abortion bill Abbott recently signed into law. 

Along with Abbott, many legislators, who are opposed to the mandatory vaccination order, are concerned with the financial burdens for businesses. This is because many workers will be fired or forced to take time off until they get vaccinated. This can result in massive loss for hard working American citizens and will hinder the American workforce and its ability to properly conduct business.

More importantly to those opposed to the mandatory vaccinations, Biden is simply setting a dangerous precedent by attempting to take control of Americans’ personal health-related decisions. They argue that If the government can require citizens to inject a vaccine, or any substance for that matter, into their bodies, what will stop it from going further in the future? The potential compulsory medical treatments that Americans may be forced into by the government, justified by the recent mandate, could substantially limit human rights. 

When it comes down to it, Americans must decide what is best for them as a people. The vaccination of millions will prevent the spread of COVID-19 and aid in the end of a pandemic that has altered lives forever. However, the long-term repercussions of allowing the U.S. government dictate health choices could be laborious to reverse. It is ultimately the power of the people to change laws and protect their natural rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

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