‘It takes time’: White House downplays apparent delay in OSHA vaccine rule

President Joe Biden created a widespread backlash last month with the announcement of his latest COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

As subsequent reports have indicated, however, the mandate has yet to be officially released and the Biden administration has not provided any timeline for when it will be.

“A few weeks”

The president announced on Sept. 9 that private companies with more than 100 employees will be required to mandate vaccines or weekly COVID-19 tests for their workers.

Specifically, Biden tasked the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration with developing a rule that would institute his mandate. Based on the language used at the time, it appeared that the agency would be releasing such a rule, but that has not yet happened.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked about this issue on Thursday who brought up her earlier forecast that OSHA’s rule would “take a few weeks” to be implemented.

“We never gave an exact timeline so maybe we should have been more specific at the time,” Psaki said, according to Breitbart. “Obviously, it takes time and we want to make sure when we put these out they are clear and they provide guidance necessary to businesses.”

Psaki went on to reiterate that she could not provide a precise timeline, expressing hope that “we’ll know more in the coming weeks.”

“Working expeditiously”

As Time magazine reported this week, the White House and the Labor Department might not be seeing eye to eye on the scope of Biden’s mandate. In fact, former Deputy Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jordan Barab told the magazine that the Biden administration has amounted to “a very frustrating nine months” for the agency.

He went on to weigh in on the vaccine mandate itself, explaining that it was wholly the creation of the White House and that OSHA leaders “would prefer a more comprehensive standard” than the one outlined by the president.

“I think there is a lot of frustration that this is limited exclusively to just vaccinations or testing,” Barab said. “The mitigation measures are totally absent.”

Nevertheless, a Labor Department spokesperson attempted to reassure American workers that OSHA is “working expeditiously” on the rule.

There may be a few reasons for a delay in implementing such a rule, however, including questions about its legality, diminishing support among Americans, and widespread worker shortages as many workers choose to leave their employers rather than receive a COVID-19 vaccination. In any case, Biden made it clear that he is not giving up on his quest, recently signaling that additional vaccine mandates could be coming soon.

Latest News