Leading health groups are urging companies to voluntarily adopt Biden vaccine or test rules

Dozens of health groups, including the American Medical Association, are urging companies to implement voluntarily President BidenJoe BidenFlorida Republicans Vote to Limit Vaccine Mandates Bill Bill Honoring 13 Service Members Killed in Afghanistan Goes to Biden’s Desk Overnight Defense & National Security – Presented by Boeing – Pentagon Promises More Transparency in Air Attacks MORE‘s coronavirus vaccine-or-test rules quickly to keep workers and customers safe ahead of the holiday.

“We – doctors, nurses and advanced clinicians, health experts and health professional associations – fully support the requirement that workers in companies with more than 100 workers be vaccinated or tested. This requirement from the Occupational, Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is reasonable and significant. to protect workers, “the groups wrote in a joint statement.

OSHA issued the rule that companies with at least 100 employees must introduce a requirement that workers must either be vaccinated against coronavirus or tested weekly earlier in the month. Unvaccinated employees would have to wear masks indoors from 5 December and then undergo weekly tests if they remain unvaccinated before 4 January.

The rule triggered immediate legal challenges from GOP governors and senators, employers and religious groups, who said the administration exceeded its authority. A federal appeals court last week upheld its own postponement of the rule, and OSHA has suspended enforcement pending another hearing.

In addition, all 50 Republican senators are challenging the rule under the Congressional Review Act and will force a vote to overturn it in the coming weeks.

All of the various legal challenges are now gathered in a single lawsuit in a new court, and the administration is expected to soon ask the court to lift the temporary freeze. In lawsuits, the administration has argued that every day the mandate is blocked, “would probably cost dozens or even hundreds of lives.”

The joint statement was organized by Ezekiel Emanuel, an oncologist and bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania. Emanuel told The Hill that health workers have long known that mandates would be needed because there were not enough adults willing to be vaccinated.

“Every year, about 45 percent of adults are vaccinated [for the flu], and it’s just not going to cut it down if we’re to get our arms around COVID, “he said.

“We are running out, but also in capacity in many states. We need to have this vaccine mandate for employers,” Emanuel said. “It’s not without controversy, but it’s the right thing to do.

The statement noted that many thousands of people who have died from COVID-19 have gotten it at work, including in food service, healthcare, retail or as first aiders.

“Requiring masks for all unvaccinated workers before the December 5 deadline will be the key to keeping customers and colleagues safe during the holiday shopping and travel season,” the groups wrote, which also included American College of Physicians, National Hispanic Medical Association, National League for Nursing, National Medical Association and American Public Health Association.

“From the first day of this pandemic, companies have wanted to overcome this virus. Now is their chance to step up and show that they are serious. Implementing these common OSHA standards is an important step for our workers, businesses and the nation. as a whole, “they said.

Updated at 11:37

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