The coronavirus pandemic has become a challenge for government officials, who bear a significant part of the responsibility to overcome the crisis. In the first year of his presidency, Joe Biden tried to stick to the campaign promises and pursued a very unobtrusive policy to encourage mass vaccination. At some point, the president’s position changed, and he decided to intervene in current events more actively. Unfortunately, this intervention was not adequate, according to critics and experts.
The president’s initiative, which gave OSHA the authority to enforce companies having 100 and more employees to vaccinate or test their employees, was perceived negatively. The Supreme Court ruled that OSHA did not have the power to command private companies. This attitude is sensible, since it regulates the enforcement of executive procedures, and is not directed against the vaccination initiative as such. Interestingly, Denler (2022) notes that “the president was expected to and still should keep within the bounds of the Constitution’s explicitly delegated authority, and allow Congress to legislate in response to emergencies facing the nation” (p. 2). The scholar emphasizes that “the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandate goes beyond the scope of the original powers of the president,” and “is based on unconstitutionally delegated powers from Congress” (Denler, 2022. p. 2). Probably, this approach is overly strict, but, in its essence is true, since the executive procedure must be followed.
Denler, H. P. (2022). Presidential pandemic powers: The President the founders gave us for the era of COVID-19. Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy, 20(2), 1-12.