In the country of individual freedoms, the announcement by Joe Biden that the anti-Covid 19 vaccination will soon be compulsory for two-thirds of American workers is causing an outcry among Republicans, who intend to launch proceedings against the Democratic government.
“It looks very much like a dictatorship,” reacted Republicans in the House of Representatives, even as the President of the United States was still delivering his speech Thursday.
The Democratic President thundered then: “We have been patient, but our patience has reached its limits.”
After months of trying to convince Americans to get vaccinated, sometimes with rewards to back it up, the septuagenarian adopted a distinctly different tone to announce his new “strategy”: to make vaccination compulsory for some 100 million people. Americans.
“We all had to pay for your refusal,” he denounced, in the direction of the 80 million Americans still unvaccinated, or 25% of the population.
On Friday, the avalanche of outraged reactions from conservatives calling for “freedom” poured in again, accompanied by threats of prosecution.
An “attack on private companies” and “a coup”, reacted the Republican Gov. of Texas, Greg Abbott, announcing that he had signed an executive order “protecting the right of Texans to choose to be vaccinated against the Covid “.
“See you in court,” the conservative governor of South Dakota told Joe Biden.
The Republican Party “will continue this administration to protect Americans and their freedoms,” added its president, Ronna McDaniel.
Like her, many Republicans say they are in favor of the vaccine, but against its obligation. Others are vaccine skeptics.
The president’s new defiant, outraged tone has fueled the fire of indignant reactions.
This “is not how Americans expect their elected officials to speak to them,” said former Donald Trump vice-president Mike Pence on Fox News on Friday.
Fueled since the summer by the Delta variant, the pandemic has already killed 650,000 in the United States.
Faced with this resurgence, the president signed a decree on Thursday that will require executive officials to be vaccinated in the coming weeks, without the possibility of resorting to regular tests. This order also concerns the employees of subcontractors, the staff of retirement homes and schools which depend on the federal government.
Even more controversial in this country where the central power is perceived with suspicion by the conservatives, the decree bypasses the legislative power and the authority of the States on health issues, and also applies to the private sector.
Employees of companies with more than 100 employees will now be required to be vaccinated or to perform a weekly screening test.
– Fierce legal battle –
To all those who are indignant, Democrats and supporters of this decision retort that other vaccines are already mandatory in the United States.
They also cite jurisprudence and Supreme Court decisions, including one dating from 1905 that ruled against an American refusing to be vaccinated against smallpox.
But this decision applied to the power of a state, and not to the federal power. And the whole question now will be whether the White House can impose this obligation by decree.
The legal battle promises to be fierce.
The Republican Party’s lawsuits “are frivolous,” Georgetown University law professor Lawrence Gostin said on Twitter.
The Business Roundtable lobby, which represents the largest American companies, has “welcomed” Joe Biden’s policy in the face of the virus.
Asked Friday about threats of Republican prosecution, Joe Biden was vindictive:
“Let them try,” he said, saying “particularly disappointed that some Republican governors have acted so lightly with the health of children.”
“We should not be condemned to such a political debate.”
Source: Challenges en temps réel : accueil by www.challenges.fr.
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