November 4, 2021
Please see below for a statement from Lawrence Gostin, faculty director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law and Georgetown University Law Center:
Today, OSHA published the long awaited rule ordering all large businesses to require employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine or undergo regular testing. Some will call it an overreach, but Biden is acting at the height of his presidential powers. He isn’t acting unilaterally but with congressional authorization under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. President Biden is on rock solid legal ground with his actions.
The Delta variant is a national emergency, and OSHA is right to protect vulnerable workers. This is a vaccine requirement, but more importantly, it is a rule requiring large businesses to fulfill their obligations of keeping workers safe. COVID-19 is as great of a major workplace hazard as workplace injuries are, if not more.
The OSHA rule will likely significantly boost vaccination coverage in America, helping us return to normalcy much faster. Mandates requiring vaccines or testing create an ever wider freedom to get us all back to everyday life.
For further comment or to schedule an interview, please contact Cynthia Sun at Cynthia.Sun@georgetown.edu.