The union representing nearly 30,000 federal law enforcement officers is slamming President Joe Biden‘s new COVID-19 vaccine mandate, calling the move an act of coercion that ‘villainizes employees’ for their concerns about the shot.
‘This executive order villianizes employees for reasonable concerns and hesitancies and inserts the federal government into individual medical decisions,’ Larry Cosme, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), said in a statement.
‘People should not be made to feel uncomfortable for making a reasonable medical choice.’
Biden unveiled the mandate Thursday. It requires workers at companies with more than 100 employees to get vaccinated or tested weekly, and orders federal employees and healthcare workers to get the shots, with no testing alternative.
Larry Cosme (left), president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, is slamming President Joe Biden (right) over his new vaccine mandate. Cosme says Biden’s mandate is an act of coercion that ‘villainizes employees’ for their concerns about the shot
Cosme, who has routinely said the FLEOA believes Americans should have the freedom to make their own decisions about the vaccine, argued that Biden’s mandate is misguided and undermines vaccination efforts.
‘The COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly evolving and emotional trying situation. In the face of so many uncertainties, our federal government should trust its employees to make their own medical decision under consultation with their doctor, not mandate by their employer,’ he said.
‘Vaccination should be promoted through education and encouragement – not coercion.’
Cosme also noted that the FLEOA has routinely encouraged its members to consult with their healthcare practioners and get vaccinated when appropriate.
However, he continued, arguing that ‘threatening people’s livelihood’ and ‘penaliziing employees’ for making personal medical decision is ‘not the answer’.
‘We are a nation built on freedom. We are law enforcement officers who defend that freedom. And we deserve the freedom to make our own health decisions,’ he said.
The union is reviewing the ‘legal landscape’ of the mandate and says they will continue to support members, as well as voice their concerns.
Cosme argues: ‘In the face of so many uncertainties, our federal government should trust its employees to make their own medical decision under consultation with their doctor, not mandate by their employer’
In a letter addressing the mandate, the FLEOA announced they are reviewing the ‘legal landscape’ of the mandate and will continue to support members and voice their concerns
Biden, announcing the mandate, argued the order is ‘not about freedom or personal choice,’ but instead about ‘protecting yourself and those around you’.
In his speech, Biden took issue with those hesitant or flat out against getting vaccinated.
‘This is not about freedom or personal choice. It’s about protecting yourself and those around you, the people you work with, the people you care about, the people you love. My job as president is to protect all Americans,’ he said in remarks in the State Dining Room at the White House.
‘We’ve been patient but our patience is wearing thin. And your refusal has cost all of us. So please do the right thing.’
Biden’s plan aims to get 100 million employees across the federal government and private sector vaccinated against COVID as the case rate continues to rise due to the Delta variant.
The order covers over 80 million employees and it will require employers with 100 or more employees to give employees paid time off to get vaccinated.
Any business that violates the new rule will face substantial fines, up to $14,000.
Biden on Thursday announced sweeping new vaccine mandates for as many as 100 million Americans, sharply denouncing those who have not yet received the shots
Biden also required all workers in healthcare settings that receive Medicaid or Medicare reimbursement to get vaccinated, which will apply to 17 million healthcare workers. That is in addition to his executive order requiring all federal workers and contractors to get vaccinated.
Additionally, the roughly 300,000 educators in headstart programs will be required to be vaccinated.
‘It’s simple – if you want to work for the federal government, you must be vaccinated. If you want to do business with the government, you must vaccinate your workforce,’ the senior administration official said on a briefing call with reporters previewing the president’s remarks.
The president also called on state governors, asking them to mandate vaccination for educators and school staff, and suggested that if they refuse to aid in his mission, he will issue more orders.
‘If these governors won’t help us beat the pandemic, I’ll use my power as president to get them out of the way,’ Biden said.
Biden has faced backlash from several organizations and leaders over the mandate.
The American Federation of Government Employees, the largest union of federal workers, said they would bargain over the order.
‘Workers deserve a voice in their working conditions,’ the group said in a statement. ‘Neither of these positions has changed. We expect to bargain over this change prior to implementation, and we urge everyone who is able to get vaccinated as soon as they can do so.’
The National Federation of Federal Employees, another government workers union, said they didn’t receive advance notice of the executive order.
Republican Congressman Rob Wittman of Virginia, who has federal workers in his district, said he objected to the forced vaccines.
‘Although I have personally been vaccinated and regularly encourage those I represent to get vaccinated as well, I fundamentally disagree with forcibly injecting America’s public servants,’ he told DailyMail.com in a statement.
‘Our government was founded to secure the individual liberties of all. We should instead continue educating the public that the COVID-19 vaccines are both safe and effective. Resorting to forced vaccinations, and returning to unnecessary restrictions, only serves to eliminate critically important vaccination incentives and undermine public confidence in the vaccines’ efficacy,’ he added.
Biden has faced backlash from several organizations and leaders over the mandate
The Republican National Committee says that it intends to sue to block Biden’s order from taking effect, and several House Republicans plan to introduce legislation to negate the order.
‘Joe Biden told Americans when he was elected that he would not impose vaccine mandates. He lied,’ said RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who added that she was ‘pro-vaccine and anti-mandate’.
‘Many small businesses and workers do not have the money or legal resources to fight Biden’s unconstitutional actions and authoritarian decrees, but when his decree goes into effect, the RNC will sue the administration to protect Americans and their liberties,’ said McDaniel.
Several Republican governors are also mounting a defense against Biden’s aggressive new order and vowing to fight it through state laws and lawsuits.
Arizona, Montana, Indiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Georgia and South Carolina were all among the Republican-led states that threatened legal action.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem appeared to threaten legal action against the Biden administration on Twitter, telling Biden: ‘See you in court.’
Meanwhile, about 27 percent of the eligible U.S. population age 12 and older have not received any COVID vaccine, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
About 75 percent of Americans have received at least one shot and 53 percent are fully vaccinated.
The vaccination rate among Americans has increased since July, which is when the Delta variant caused case rates to spike, but it remains low in Southern states like Florida and Texas.
About 27 percent of the eligible U.S. population age 12 and older have not received any COVID vaccine, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 75 percent of Americans have received at least one shot and 53 percent are fully vaccinated