Vaccine mandates continue to multiply

Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 8:58 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - This week, Pima County added a vaccine mandate to its list of items to combat COVID-19 joining the city of Tucson which passed its vaccine mandate on Aug. 13.

There is a difference though. Tucson’s mandate covers all 4,000 of its workers while Pima County’s mandate covers the nearly 2,000 of its employees who come in contact with vulnerable populations including those in congregate settings like assisted living facilities, nursing homes and inmates at the jail.

Now, the Biden administration has announced a vaccine mandate for all companies which employ 100 or more employees.

The mandate kicks in Jan. 4.

“We know that vaccines absolutely save lives and we know that mandates work,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institutes of Health.

Tucson’s vaccine mandate has survived a challenge from the Arizona State Attorney General, Mark Brnovich, from Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and a host of new laws passed by the Arizona State Legislature which were ruled unconstitutional by the Arizona State Supreme Court.

“We’re on the right side of history, we’re on the right side of science, we’re on the right side of ethics,” said Steve Kozachik, who represents Ward 6 on the Tucson City Council. “These guys simply need to get a vaccine and get on the right side of public safety.”

While it seems the local mandates are on solid ground for the time being, the federal mandate will be challenged by a host of Republican Governors including Ducey and Attorneys General including Brnovich.

The Arizona State Chamber of Commerce released a statement soon after the announcement was made in Washington.

Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry President and CEO Danny Seiden released the following statement:

“As we’ve said time and again, responsible Arizona employers of all sizes are doing their part to slow the spread of Covid-19 and protect their workforce and customers. Job creators are not looking to the federal government for advice on how to keep their workplaces safe.

“We remain concerned that this vaccine Emergency Temporary Standard risks establishing a troubling precedent whereby the federal government could attempt to justify future cumbersome and expensive mandates on employers, combined with stiff fines, which will only extend and exacerbate the economic harm caused by the pandemic.

“Bringing this pandemic to an end once and for all requires a partnership and collaboration between the private sector and all levels of government, not top-down, one-size-fits-all mandates from Washington.”

However the White House said there’s no evidence that mandates have caused business disruptions or mass layoffs and walkouts.

Copyright 2021 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.