The U.S. Supreme Court has blocked the administration of President Joe Biden from enforcing a requirement for employees of large companies to be vaccinated. against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing and wear a mask at work.
At the same time, the court allowed the administration to proceed with a vaccination mandate for most health care workers in the U.S. The court’s rulings Thursday come during a surge in coronavirus cases and deal a blow to the government’s efforts to increase vaccination rates among Americans.
The court’s conservative majority concluded that the government overstepped its authority in seeking to impose the vaccination rule or covid test on U.S. businesses with at least 100 employees. More than 80 million people would have been affected.
Both rules had been challenged by states governed by Republicans. In addition to them, business groups attacked the emergency regulation as too costly and likely to cause workers to leave their jobs at a time when it is already difficult to find new employees.
The vaccination mandate, which the court will allow to be enforced nationwide, covers virtually all health care workers in the country. It applies to health care providers who receive federal Medicare or Medicaid funds, which could affect 76,000 health care facilities, as well as home health care providers. The rule has medical and religious exemptions.
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