WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House on Monday urged employers to go ahead and push worker vaccinations, as legal challenges to President Joe Biden’s vaccine rule work their way through the courts.
A U.S. federal appeals court issued a stay Saturday freezing the Biden administration’s efforts to require COVID-19 vaccines for workers at U.S. companies with at least 100 employees or weekly tests, citing “grave statutory and constitutional” issues with the rule.
The ruling from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals comes after numerous Republican-led states filed legal challenges against the new rule, which is set to take effect on Jan 4.
“We think we people should not wait,” said White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, when asked what employers should do. “It is important and critical to do, and waiting to get more people vaccinated will lead to more outbreaks and sickness.”
An average of about 1,100 Americans are dying daily from COVID-19, most of them unvaccinated. COVID-19 has killed over 757,000 people in the United States.
“We’re trying to get past this pandemic and we know the way to do that is to get people vaccinated, so people should not wait,” Jean-Pierre said.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Steve Holland; Editing by Heather Timmons and Jonathan Oatis)