ANALYSIS: Biden’s Vaccine Mandate Hurts Working Class America the Most

By Published on September 21, 2021

President Joe Biden’s executive action requiring most U.S. workers to get vaccinated hurts working class Americans the most, according to polling and vaccination data.

Americans with lower levels of education are less likely to get and are more hesitant about COVID-19 vaccinations, according to survey data from the Census Bureau. Separate polling data showed that those Americans are also more likely to oppose vaccine mandates including Biden’s recent order requiring the jab for millions of workers.

“Unfortunately, this disproportionately harms people of lower socioeconomic groups,” Jeffrey Singer, a health policy expert at the Cato Institute, told the Daily Caller News Foundation when asked about Biden’s vaccine mandate. “A significant number of people who don’t want to get vaccinated are mainly of lower socioeconomic status.”

“At this point, I think it runs the risk of doing more harm than good,” Singer added.

Just 66% of U.S. adults with less than a college degree have been vaccinated, fewer than the 76% of total adults who have received a vaccination, according to a Sept. 10-13 Morning Consult poll. Meanwhile, 84% and 88% of adults with a bachelor’s degree and graduate degree respectively have been vaccinated.

About 11% of adults with some college education or an associate degree, 14% of adults with a high school diploma and 14.6% of those with less than a high school diploma reported being hesitant to get vaccinated, the Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey found. By comparison, 5% of those with at least a bachelor’s degree are hesitant.

Biden ordered the Department of Labor last week to issue a rule forcing businesses with 100 or more employees to mandate vaccinations at their workplace. The order, which applies to more than 81.1 million Americans, allows workers to choose to submit weekly tests to their employer instead of getting vaccinated.

The White House hasn’t clarified if private sector workers who choose not to be vaccinated will be expected to pay for the weekly tests. Some experts have predicted that employers will be allowed to choose whether to pay for the tests or not, The New York Times reported.

The Labor Department didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment on how weekly tests will be paid for.

Biden’s vaccine mandate for private sector workers doesn’t apply to those who work from home, according to the Miami Herald.

The president also issued executive orders requiring federal employees and contractors to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 22, 2021, the White House said. There are an estimated 4.2 million full-time federal employees, according to the Congressional Research Service.

“Many of us are frustrated with the nearly 80 million Americans who are still not vaccinated, even though the vaccine is safe, effective, and free,” Biden said during Sept. 9 remarks at the White House.

“We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin,” he added later in his speech.

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Thirty-six percent of Americans with less than a college degree said they opposed Biden’s rule forcing private sector employees to get vaccinated, the recent Morning Consult poll showed. Those with a bachelor’s degree and those with a graduate degree opposed it at a rate of 29% and 23% respectively.

On the question of vaccine mandates more broadly, 43% of adults with less than a college degree agreed that mandates violate the rights of Americans, according to the poll. Thirty-one percent of adults with a bachelor’s degree and 25% with a graduate degree agreed.

Labor unions and trade groups representing working class Americans have come out in opposition to Biden’s vaccine mandate.

“These proposed requirements — however well-intentioned — threaten to cause further disruptions throughout the supply chain, impeding our nation’s COVID response efforts and putting the brakes on any economic revival,” American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear said in a statement.

“If these mandates are designed to protect Americans, then why the discriminatory 100-employee threshold, picking winners and losers for both employees and employers?” he continued.

 

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