The federal Covid-19 vaccine mandate will officially be enforced starting January 4 when every federal worker and workers in companies with more than 100 employees will have to show proof that they are fully vaccinated, U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced on Thursday.
Since Biden initially announced the vaccine mandate nearly two months ago, many GOP-led states started to do everything in their power to block the vaccine mandate in their states and South Carolina has been one of them.
After the OSHA announcement on Thursday, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster later on Thursday said he will order all 19 state cabinet agencies from carrying out vaccine mandates.
“It is unprecedented, it is unlawful and it is just plain wrong,” McMaster said at a press briefing. “The president of the United States is telling you you’ve got to get a vaccination that perhaps you do not want for whatever reason is your own.”
“I will issue an executive order barring any South Carolina cabinet agency from issuing or enforcing any vaccine mandate.”
OSHA unveiled the new temporary standard as per Biden order which requires all workers to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 4 or they will have to undergo weekly Covid-19 testing and wear face masks on the job.
The data shows that nearly 84 million will be affected with the mandate and it still remains unclear how many of the are unvaccinated at this point. Biden announced the mandate in an effort to improve the vaccination rate across the country and lower the possibility of new waves in the future.
The data provided by CDC shows that more than 750,000 Americans lost their lives due to Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. The pandemic also affected the economy, the prices, increased the inflation and affected the mental health.
McMaster, with Lt. Gov. Pam Evette at his side, said Thursday the OSHA rule is “the most egregious” of the Biden administration’s actions.
“We have been stunned at the overreach of the Biden administration. Stunned is the word,” McMaster said. “I have never seen a president go out of bounds of the law as much as this one.
“I will require all state agencies, including the 19 cabinet agencies, to report to me any inquiry or request for vaccination from the federal government,” he said.
“I do not have the authority as governor to tell a private business what to do with their own employees,” he said. “Personally, I don’t think it’s necessary to have a mandate. I do not think it’s good for business. I don’t think it sends a good message to say you’ll fire people who do not get a vaccine.
“We are not saying people should not get vaccinated, that the virus is not dangerous,” he added. “For the federal government to intrude into the workplace … is outrageous and unlawful and we will fight it.”