A U.S. Senator from Ohio released a statement Friday regarding Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling against President Joe Biden and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s attempt to mandate vaccines in the workplace.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) began his statement by saying that he is a strong advocate for COVID-19 vaccines.
“I participated in the [Johnson & Johnson] trial to show people it’s safe and effective and would encourage everyone to get vaccinated and get the booster,” he said. (The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is no longer recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention [CDC] due to safety concerns).
Portman continued, saying he is against mandates.
“However, I have real concerns about any national mandate imposed by the federal government on private sector employees,” he said. “Congress has not given the administration that authority, and the President may not unilaterally make enormous decisions that affect people’s lives without the representatives of the people weighing in. I believe the Court recognized that in its decision to stay the mandates while challenges to it are still pending in court.”
Under the proposed mandate, businesses with 100 or more employees would have to require vaccination among their employees.
The ruling said that OSHA does not have the authority to implement vaccine mandates, as the law creating the government agency “empowers the Secretary to set workplace safety standards, not broad public health measures.”
“Although COVID-19 is a risk that occurs in many workplaces, it is not an occupational hazard in most,” the Court said. “COVID–19 can and does spread at home, in schools, during sporting events, and everywhere else that people gather. That kind of universal risk is no different from the day-to-day dangers that all face from crime, air pollution, or any number of communicable diseases.”
Still, the Court did not block a mandate requiring healthcare workers to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
Back in Ohio, Portman is set to retire in Jan. 2023, when his term is up.
It is primary season nationwide, and a heated battle for Portman’s seat is underway in the Granite State.
Author, lawyer and venture capitalist J.D. Vance and former Ohio State Treasurer and Josh Mandel lead a pack of Republicans vying for the position.
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