Ronald Klain retweets vaccine mandate ‘ultimate work around’

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Ronald Klain retweets vaccine mandate ‘ultimate work around’

Ronald Klain, the Biden Administration’s chief of staff, appears to be admitting that President Biden’s vaccine mandate for private companies is the “ultimate work-around” to issuing a federal vaccine mandate — signalling the White House’s intention behind the policy. 

MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle tweeted on Thursday, ahead of Biden’s speech which mandated that two-thirds of all US workers get COVID-19 shots, that the move is “the ultimate work-around for the Federal govt to require vaccinations.”

“OSHA doing this vaxx mandate as an emergency workplace safety rule is the ultimate work-around for the Federal govt to require vaccinations,” Ruhle wrote. 

Klain, who retweeted several posts throughout the evening in support of the president and the mandate, retweeted Rhule’s take on the order that undermines Biden’s statement in December that he “wouldn’t demand [vaccination] be mandatory.”

White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain retweeted, “OSHA doing this vaxx mandate as an emergency workplace safety rule is the ultimate work-around for the Federal govt to require vaccinations.”
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images
Ronald Klain retweeted this.
Ronald Klain retweeted this.
Twitter

The retweet caught the attention of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who called the move “foolish” and an indication that the “admin knows it’s likely illegal” to force businesses to implement vaccine rules under penalty of massive fines.

“Important. Foolish RT from WH chief of staff,” Cruz wrote, sharing a screenshot of the Klain’s retweet. “He said the quiet part out loud. Biden admin knows it’s likely illegal (like the eviction moratorium) but they don’t care.” 

Biden’s order came as cases of the coronavirus continue to surge, in part thanks to the Delta variant. To combat the pandemic, Biden issued a six step plan including increasing vaccinations, increasing testing, mandating masks, and improving care for those already diagnosed with COVID-19.

Joe Biden
In laying out his six step plan, President Biden said that getting the vaccine falls outside matters of “freedom or personal choice.”
AP/Andrew Harnik

The president added that vaccination falls outside matters of “freedom or personal choice.”

“This is not about freedom, or personal choice,” Biden said in a speech at the White House. “It’s about protecting yourself and those around you — the people you work with, the people you care about, the people you love… We cannot allow these actions to stand in the way of protecting the large majority of Americans who have done their part, who want to get back to life as normal.”

The mandate gives the Labor Department power to force businesses with 100 workers to require staff to get vaccinated or be tested weekly. Federal workers will not have a testing option and must consent to injections with few exceptions.

Stephanie Ruhle is an anchor for MSNBC.
Stephanie Ruhle is an anchor for MSNBC.
Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Tribeca Festival

Republican governors shot back at the president following the order, claiming he does not have the power to issue such a mandate. 

“This is not a power that is delegated to the federal government,” South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem told Fox News’ “Hannity” Thursday night. “This is a power for states to decide. In South Dakota, we’re going to be free and we’re going to make sure that we don’t overstep our authority. So we will take action. My legal team is already working, and we will defend and protect our people from this unlawful mandate.”

In Arizona, Gov. Doug Ducey slammed Biden’s “dictatorial approach” as “wrong” and “un-American.”

75.3 percent of US adults have had at least one coronavirus vaccine shot, according to the CDC.
75.3 percent of US adults have had at least one coronavirus vaccine shot, according to the CDC.
LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images

“COVID-19 is a contagious disease, it is still with us and it will be for the foreseeable future,” Ducey wrote. “President Biden’s solution is hammering down on private businesses and individual freedoms in an unprecedented and dangerous way … How many workers will be displaced? How many kids kept out of classrooms? How many businesses fined?”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called the new rule “an assault on private businesses” and vowed that the state was “already working to halt this power grab.”

It is unclear how the governors can fight back against the order, as Biden warned that if Republican governors who have opposed vaccine and mask mandates “won’t help us beat the pandemic, I’ll use my powers as president to get them out of the way.”

According to CDC data, 75.3 percent of US adults have had at least one coronavirus vaccine shot. Vaccination rates do vary among states and the national infection rate is as high as it was in late January when few Americans were vaccinated.

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