White House Walks Back Biden Statement that National Vaccine Mandate Is Under Consideration

"A national vaccine requirement is not under consideration at this time. That’s where we are with that."

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That didn't take long. Yesterday, President Biden slipped that he has asked DOJ for an opinion about the validity of a national vaccine mandate. Today, the White House walked that statement back:

The White House is not presently considering a national requirement for the COVID-19 vaccine, principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Friday.

"A national vaccine requirement is not under consideration at this time. That's where we are with that," Jean-Pierre said at a press briefing.

Uh huh. Tell it to OLC.

I've started working on a longer piece about the statutory and constitutional arguments for a vaccine mandate with respect to 42 U.S.C. § 264. Stay tuned.

Update: In an interview, the CDC Director said that the administration was "looking" at vaccine mandate, but then issued a corrected tweet:

NEXT: Short Circuit: A Roundup of Recent Federal Court Decisions

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  1. My body my choice for me but not for thee!

    1. Uh, it’s a contagious disease so that kind of doesn’t apply.

      1. Abortion has a near 100% probability of transmission of death to another person. Can COVID match those numbers?

        Not to mention progs have established that hurt feelings are a suitable justification to curtail someone’s personal liberty. Well abortion certainly hurts a lot of feelings.

        1. “Abortion has a near 100% probability of transmission of death to another person.”

          Nope.

          “progs have established that hurt feelings are a suitable justification to curtail someone’s personal liberty”

          Lol, every accusation is a confession.

          1. The usual nonsense, just ignore the sock.

          2. I don’t want to argue abortion here, but what species has its life terminated in an abortion?

      2. “Uh, it’s a contagious disease so that kind of doesn’t apply.”

        Lol. So it’s “my body my choice” unless Queen Amalthea decides that that doesn’t apply. That makes it my body Queen Amalthea’s choice.

        See, progs and pro-lifers aren’t different.

        1. Well, I guess with respect to vaccines the anti-vaxxers are the pro-choicers, and the vax mandate folks are the pro-lifers.

    2. Oh good, let’s hijack this thread and have a debate about abortion.

      Looking forward to the post about vaccine mandates. If you are going to make originalist arguments, I hope it is backed by thorough historical analysis.

      1. Walking back talk of a national mandate does not mean that the US government won’t issue a mandate for Federal employees and employees of Government prime contractors.
        It is going to happen.

        1. Having been around higher education as long as you purport to have, one’d think you’d have heard of union rules…

          1. Ed,
            I have told you before, Biden will be pleased to buy off the unions.

            1. Which will not happen in a vacuum — and this is Post-Janus.

              Buying off the unions without *major* benefits to the bargaining units will exacerbate attrition from the union that they can’t afford, while any major benefit to the units will draw the wrath of the public.

              Bear in mind that there isn’t any magical money tree in DC and Biden’s largess is going to have consequences…

              1. The lack of money has not stopped him yet from giving out a trillion here and a trillion there.
                What did you think that new child tax credit e mail people is going to cost?

                1. Not as much as you might think because of who has (and doesn’t have) children.

                  1. Do the arithmatic

                    1. OK. $300 x 52 = $15,600 for every person on unemployment.

                      How much is the child credit again?

                    2. Ed2,
                      You’re all wrong again. I guess that you dod not get Old White Joe’s letter on White House stationary.
                      The credit is $3600 for children under 6 and $3000 for children from 6 through 12.
                      If you have already filed your taxes, you get $166 PER MONTH for the rest of the year.
                      For 50 million kids 12 and under that is at least $150 billion dollars

            2. After Janus, union membership is voluntary for government employees.

              Maybe Biden wants to improve their market share by positioning them to tell members of the bargaining union “We will work to allow you as an individual to not vaccinate, but you have to pay dues.” If you believe that not vaccinating is a Republican thing, then it will largely be people who have played the Janus card for other reasons who will want the union to lift the vaccination mandate from their shoulders.

              -dk

              1. What the court didn’t answer in Janus — in part because the union did not want them to — is if the union has the right (and hence duty) to represent those who do not want the union to do so.

                In other words, do such persons remain members of the bargaining unit — or can they bargain individually? Unions do *not* want that, and hence have to represent everyone.

                Massachusetts state law makes it even more interesting because MA lets the union bill non members for the costs of representing them — but still doesn’t answer the question of if members can go outside the union and hire their own lawyers.

          2. Having not been a lawyer as long as you haven’t, one’d think you’d stop trying to play one on the Internet.

        2. I think you are right. So far he’s just issued rules incentivizing vaccines. The alternative for federal employees is mandatory masks, covid testing regimes, social distancing requirements, etc.

          1. And you think that Federal workers are inefficient now, wait until they have a whole lot more excuses — “social distancing” alone will kill a few hours a day, as they have to wait until everyone else is out of the way.

            1. Ed,
              You may see more firings for insubordination and for failure to perform. Mangers will just have to grow cojones.

              1. Oh, really?!?

                Are you at all familiar with the Federal Civil Service?!?

                1. Oh my.
                  Dr Ed just learned about unions, the mainstay of the Dem party.

                2. Sure, those unions are going to do the heavy lifting for the Trumpoids

                  1. Are you at all familiar with the Janus decision???

                3. Ed,
                  Every government own laboratory is already operating under these restrictions for worker safety. NO objections from the unions.
                  And if the access must be restricted for many months limiting people on-site that will mean furloughs including for unionized employees. The unions do NOT want that. They will pressure their members (with Biden’s encouragement) to get the sites up to full operating capacity.

                  You actually have to think more than one move down stream

                  1. Did you happen to notice how Biden exempted the US Post Office?

      2. Its not a hijack. Its the exact same basic issue. Bodily autonomy has consistently been portrayed when it was to the other side’s favor over the past few decades as an absolute or near absolute right. Something more sacrosanct than even freedom of speech or self defense itself. Perhaps the most sacred right of all. Even posing some hypothetical about exceptional circumstances would probably get you excommunicated.

        Now all of a sudden in 2021 its pragmatism and give and take? And the thing that drove this was 4.2 million deaths, who knows how many were counted correctly? Well okay, if we can make an exception for 4.2 million deaths total how about for 50 million deaths a year?

        1. Sigh. Fine. Of course you can make the same argument in reverse to you. If the government has the right to make abortion illegal, why shouldn’t they have the right to mandate vaccination, if the key consideration in both cases is “bodily autonomy?”

          1. Actually, there is a stronger case to criminalize abortion in that it involves the deliberate killing of another human being.

            1. Another irrelevant comment. You sure know how to drag them from your sphincter

          2. Alpheus,
            The government can issue work rules for its employees.
            It certainly can put almost arbitrary rules in place regarding site access.
            Why? To deal with stupid people. It is that simple

            1. I agree with you completely.

            2. Don, I forget what the labor law term is, but established practices are considered to be part of the contract and changes in them *also* have to be bargained.

              Issuing new work rules has to be bargained.

              And remember that these are Biden’s fiats, not new statutes, so there is no legal authority of “all relevant statutes.”

              1. Yes. Mr Biden will have to bargain with the unions for the represented employees.
                They will demand a high price and Biden will agree.
                Is that so hard for you to understand?

              2. By the way, site access for safety that applies to all workers is NOT a work rule. And Unions are not complaining about it, because the alternative is layoffs. Members do not like that word

  2. It does not matter what the TX or FL governor have to say about requirement on Federal workers:

    Preemption
    “Nothing in this section or section 266 of this title … may be construed as superseding any provision under State law … except to the extent that such a provision conflicts with an exercise of Federal authority under this section or section 266 of this title.”

  3. They’re going to provide an incentive: If you get a Covid shot in the next 30 days, they’ll give you a free mask.

    1. How did right-wing misfits get this far in a society that imposes stop signs, mandatory vaccinations for school, center lines, clothing requirements, traffic signals, closing times for parks, taxes, tax deadlines, roadway weight limits, ‘no breakfast after 11’ rules, and other affronts to the snowflakey sensibilities of the ‘you can’t tell me what to do’ clingerverse?

      The clingers will whine and whimper, but they also will comply with the preferences of better Americans. As usual.

      1. You really need to shove a .45 up your ass and pull the trigger, you useless pile of steaming human shit.

        1. Thank you for demonstrating that the Volokh Conspiracy’s claim to be enforcing ‘civility standards’ — used to attempt to defend this conservative blog’s hypocritical, viewpoint-driven censorship — was just shabby pretext.

          I would have expected better from a professor at a strong law school.

      2. And here is the profile of a sadist using the weak logic and banal imagery of “stop signs” as a reason and rationale to any and all fascism. His “whining and whimpering clingers” gambit is supposed to make conscientious objectors to fascism feel defensive and foolish. It fails, of course.

        Then, his constant “You will comply with the demands of your betters” is his overtly threatening (and ironic) threat, given how his idea of “betters” is comprised of the scum of all small ponds of takers, infectors, and inflictors of misery.

        1. Why do you hate the American mainstream, Miss Greenparker?

          (Other than the point that America’s great liberal-libertarian alliance continues to defeat conservative clingers in the culture war.)

        2. Well put, though you’ve perhaps out of politeness, skipped its fetishization of oral abuse and constant glorification of totalitarianism. It’s an unpleasant creature, but the best reminder of what single-party government will look like.

  4. It is not exactly a secret that the Biden administration wants as many people as possible to get vaccinated, and will do whatever they can within the law to make that happen.

    A national mandate that all residents must take the vaccine is probably beyond the power of the executive branch, and possibly beyond the power of the legislative + executive branch.

    That doesn’t mean that getting everyone vaccinated is a bad idea, on the contrary if everyone eligible had just gotten the vaccine we wouldn’t be in the situation we are in now with the delta variant ripping through areas of high vaccine avoidance.

    The vaccine works, millions have taken it without any serious complications, and the only people dying or being hospitalized are the unvaccinated.

    And if everyone had the choice to either take it or court death/hospitalization I might be fine with that, but there are many people who either can’t take it due to health reasons or because the vaccine has not yet been approved for the very young. So, anyone who *can* take it but doesn’t are not just endangering themselves, they’re endangering others. Without getting into the legal weeds, there are limitations of the “freedom” to endanger others.

    1. Without getting into the moral weeds, there are also limitations on how many people need to change how much of their lifestyle to accommodate a few others.

      1. In what way is being immunized a lifestyle choice?
        C’mon. That is a pretty foolish assertion.
        However, People are free to be unemployed, to sit on the beach chanting, “God will provide”
        They are even free to catch covid-19, to be intubated and die.
        How much more freedom can anyone stand?

        1. “However, People are free to be unemployed, to sit on the beach chanting, “God will provide””

          Or steal what you have.

          Try studying a bit of history sometime. You might learn something….

          1. Ed,
            They are more likely to steal what little you have.
            You truly have nothing useful to say about this topic.
            Have a glass of Irish whiskey and chill.

    2. 1: 74% of those infected on Cape Cod have been fully vaccinated.
      See: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/30/cdc-study-shows-74percent-of-people-infected-in-massachusetts-covid-outbreak-were-fully-vaccinated.html

      2: No one’s talking about all the INFECTED illegal aliens Biden has let into the country.

      3: You’d think that Biden would be old enough to remember people burning draft cards. My guess is that vaccination cards would burn equally well…

      COVID is going to do to Biden what Iran did to Carter — and maybe Biden will also become a prisoner of the rose garden.

      And people are saying that Larry Elder has a real chance of becoming Governor of California. It could be interesting….

      1. Ed,
        “2: No one’s talking about all the INFECTED illegal aliens Biden has let into the country. 3: You’d think that Biden would be old enough to remember people burning draft cards. My guess is that vaccination cards would burn equally well…”

        More of your irrelevancies derived from you slavish adoration of the Orange Clown.

        As for Larry Elder, I am voting for Caitlyn Jenner

      2. It was a gay pride festival, something they’re downplaying a bit. An absurdly crowded gay pride festival. A population which has an unusual percentage of immune compromised, and is actually known for being a disease vector and reservoir due to various activities…

        Absolute worst case for disease transmission, for all I know they’ve adopted eyeball licking as their ‘secret handshake’, and nobody died. Pretty impressive.

        But they’re not going to talk about that. They’re going to pretend it was just typical people failing to mask up.

        1. “It was a gay pride festival, something they’re downplaying a bit. An absurdly crowded gay pride festival.”

          “Bear Week” is a little bit more than just a “festival.”
          I believe that “orgy” would perhaps be a better word.

          https://ptownie.com/bear-week-provincetown-2021-update/

    3. there are many people who either can’t take it due to health reasons

      This gets thrown around an awful lot in the abstract. Perhaps you can flesh it out a bit:

      1. How many people?
      2. What health reasons?
      3. Why do those health reasons trump COVID when precious little else in life does these days?
      4. Who gets to make that call, and why?

      1. Primarily HIV/AIDS although there are a lot of secondary health issues, including a lot of respiratory issues.

        It would not be surprising to see COVID over-represented in this population — to the point where merely being gay could be considered a COVID risk factor — not mentioning the “lifestyle.”

    4. The unvaccinated are a national health menace. All the more so because of their aggressive stupidity.

      1. “All the more so because of their aggressive stupidity.”
        Say that again 50 times!

        1. Given the racial profile of the vaccinated vs unvaccinated that seems a bit of a racially charged statement. Perhaps there is a range of reasons people aren’t willing to get vaccinated. I don’t get the anti-vax tendency myself in the least, but I’d not assume all are “stupid”.

          1. I get why blacks don’t trust the government, but when they hear the overwhelming fraction of deaths that are in the unvaccinated, I’d say that those that are not persuaded are stupid.

            1. There is a real dearth of trustable sources out there. The media’s credibility is probably at an all time low. Not surprising that people may get information from randos in the internet that (even if true) is not correctly contextualized. And people often prioritize experiences over statistics. If a family member or friend had (or thought they had) a negative reaction to the vaccine people weight that quite heavily. I’m not inclined to think mocking or demonization is an effective tool to persuade people to be vaccinated, YMMV.

              1. ” There is a real dearth of trustable sources out there. ”

                For disaffected losers, half-educated dullards, and anti-social misfits, that likely is true.

                ” Not surprising that people may get information from randos in the internet that (even if true) is not correctly contextualized. ”

                Disaffected, half-educated, misfits, etc. . . .

              2. Nothing else has worked. What do you expect?

                1. Mocking is severely underrated in the context of the belligerently ignorant, superstitious, and bigoted.

      2. Would that be like how Muslims are a national security menace???

        Be careful how you throw your mindless stupidity.

        1. Ed (1/2),
          Give it up.
          The opposition to being vaccinated given the absence of of bona fide medical (and I’ll give you religious) reasons is just plain arrogant stupidity.

        2. Ed,
          As for the Muslims, they are completely irrelevant to this issue.
          Focus, man, focus.

          1. Because the Swedish Bikini Team did 9-11….

  5. Look at the bright side.

    Our children get to compete economically with these losers.

    1. The bright side is sooner than later someone will beat the ever living shit out of you and finish you off with two to the head.

      1. I couldn’t design a better refutation to the ‘I’m just enforcing a civility standard’ line Prof. Volokh tries to use when censoring non-conservative content at this blog. Thanks, Jack!

        1. A public apology would solve some of your problem in this regard, Prof. Volokh.

  6. … and then walks it forward again:

    https://www.foxnews.com/media/baier-cdc-director-walensky-vaccine-mandate

    “CDC director tells Bret Baier government ‘looking into’ potential COVID-19 vaccine mandate”

    Meanwhile, Sydney deploys the Military to enforce the lockdown:

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-58021718

    1. Meanwhile the white house condemns the NYT and Washington Post for actually quoting the CDC:

      https://www.foxnews.com/media/white-house-washington-post-new-york-times-covid-spread-vaccinated

      This is getting surreal.

      1. The number of infections in the vaccinated is real. That the White House cannot face facts only fuels the doubters. Shame, Mr Biden.

        1. Exactly. You had to know that all the chest thumping about how well Biden was going to handle Covid wasn’t going to work out well. But, I didn’t think it would be this disastrous.

        2. I have no doubt it is. If you had been following the science on vaccines, you would have realized that the vaccines are 95% effective against *hospitalization and death*. In the study the CDC cites, 489 people got covid, 5 went to the hospital. The rest experienced flu like symptoms (runny nose, fever etc).

          But that is not the point. Vaccines work at reducing covid to a something like a mild cold.

          CDC is merely inducing panic with these pronouncements. People would never wear a mask or lockdown for pneumonia or the flu (which kills a lot of people each year). Nor should they.

          Get the vaccine, go back to normal. You might still get covid, but it will be mild. End of story.

          1. Yeah, people really do not understand vaccines. I’d go so far as to say they’re being actively encouraged not to understand vaccines.

            They’re not a magical forcefield. They just prep your immune system to respond really rapidly to infections, which reduces their severity, usually to the point where you don’t notice them.

    2. Also, lockdowns are on the table https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/565741-trump-testing-czar-warns-lockdowns-may-be-on-table-if-people-dont-get

      Except I am pretty sure Biden deinied that too. To be completely fair, Biden is not really in charge.

      1. ” To be completely fair, Biden is not really in charge. ”

        Who is in charge, in the opinion of delusional and disaffected right-wingers these days? Obama’s birth certificate? QAnon? The cashier at Comet Ping Pong pizza? Bamboo-flecked ballots? The love child of Seth Rich and Jesus? Mike Lindell? Sidney Powell? Rudy Giuliani? The entire Elite Strike Force? That thing atop Trump’s head? Stephen Miller’s spray-on hair? Jeanine Pirro’s martini? Benghazi? The Deep State? Hillary’s server?

        Carry on, clingers. Your betters will let you know how far.

        1. Please kill yourself in the most violent possible manner. We’ll be by to take a shit on your corpse and kick it into the path of traffic.

          1. Having too much fun stomping the preferences and hopes of clingers into cultural irrelevance to take you advice, Jack.

            Keep whining. It lets your betters know they’re still on the right track as they continue to shape our national progress against the wishes and works of movement conservatives.

  7. Considering it looks like about 25% of Covid cases being reported are vaccinated people, I doubt the effectivity of it is great enough that it is a compelling interest because of herd immunity and seeking to abate community spread.

    It does look like it gives you enough immunity though to make any outbreak relatively minor if not asymptomatic. But then again, a good chunk of Covid cases turn into that without the vaccine.

    My thought is get it if you want to for whatever reason. If you travel a lot, find yourself in busy social situations, or just want peace of mind go right ahead. Keep in mind though, the side effects are significant though and the media is definitely downplaying them. I would say one in four people I know who got any version of the vaccine had one or more major side effects that kept them out of work for multiple days.

    There is no compelling reason for any kind of mandate and the busy body Karens who trumpet the vaccine as some sort of panacea ought to just shut up and mind their own business. The choice really belongs to the individual and that is the end of the story.

    1. ” I would say one in four people I know who got any version of the vaccine had one or more major side effects that kept them out of work for multiple days.”

      That was about what I saw here, and adding insult to injury, while we were given paid time off to get the vaccine, we had to use our own vacation time if we needed to recuperate from getting it.

      1. I am a proponent of getting vaccinated, evn though both my son and I have had and continue to have significant side effects more than 3 months later. Still the inconvenience of those effective is overshadowed by the risks of contracting COVID-19 which has a daily CFR of roughly 2.5% in the US.

        I expect that we will need a booster shot in 3 to 4 months. Our entire family will get it.

        1. RE: Don Nico

          Covid is hardly a walk in the park for most people. The few that I actually know who were tested positive for it still had the equivalent of a bad flu. There were some others who think they had it but never got tested, and they said it was like the worst cold they ever had.

          Conversely, the side effects are nothing to sneeze at either. What I object to is the media downplaying them or even suggesting they are “normal” reactions. People should be able to make an informed decision about their healthcare choices, including this vaccine. Sure the side effect information is out there and you can find it (if you look really hard), but even some doctors are discounting how bad it can be for some folks. That is not right.

          1. Jimmy,
            That you for a polite commentary.
            Your friends were lucky as was my 98 year old mom. But over 600,000 American were not so lucky. Some times very quickly with rapidly worsening symptoms.

            As for side effects, mine continue to be a nuisance keeping me in bad for a day or so every couple of weeks. My son’s are much worse, he now and suddenly has great difficulty walking. So I don’t belittle fear of side effects. Having said that each of us in my household will take a booster as soon as its available. As far as I know neither my doctor or my son’s have entered any information in the relevant database of side effects.

            It is irresponsible that the CDC and the White House like to ignore the 35,000,000 million Americans who bought their immunity the hard way. That is also irresponsible.

            My interest in SARS-CoV-2 is professional. I have been doing epidemiological research on a global basis on the topic for 18 months. I have a peer-reviewed publication and am completing a second submission concerning the effects of variants.

            In the end, on balance, I believe that vaccination or boosters of immunity however acquired are essential to controlling this pandemic.
            I also know that the Federal government has been demanding strict access control in its facilities for the past year. The has been no outcry from unions, because the only alternative is layoffs.

            I do get impatient about people who have politicized this illness. That need not have happened. I’ve written before that the pandemic handed Mr Trump an easy reelection on a platter. He just blew it. Bad for him and bad for many people who became very sick or who died.

            Stay healthy and think hard about what really is inconvenient and what risks to the health of yourself and your family really are.

            1. “It is irresponsible that the CDC and the White House like to ignore the 35,000,000 million Americans who bought their immunity the hard way. That is also irresponsible.”

              I think it’s a combination of bureaucratic convenience, (It’s easier to determine somebody’s vaccination status than their antibody status, though the latter is what really matters.) and getting pissy about people questioning their orders, and failing to ask “How high?” when told to jump.

              Just think of the CDC and White House being run by people who think like the Rev, but have the sense to keep the quiet part quiet, and that latter will be obvious.

              1. No: Just basic risk aversion and poor incentives. It takes two doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine to reach high effectiveness; The J&J one-does is a lot less effective.

                There is no way to know the effectiveness of natural immunity. For all we know you have to get COVID at least twice to get the kind of immunity two shots of Pfizer give you*. We do know that even after two does of Pfizer, you can still get a mild case of COVID. Given what we know about COVID, its entirely possible getting sick once is not as effective as the vaccine, or getting it twice.

                Now, one could get some people who have had COVID and titer their antibodies. They could then correlate that with antibody levels from the vaccines, and extrapolate effectiveness of natural immunity. Or one could follow them long term, see how many get COVID, and how many get hospitalized, a different way to determine the effectiveness of natural immunity.

                Well, first of all, who is going to pay for these very expensive studies? Not the pharma manufacturers for sure. Second, these studies take a lot of time. 6 or more months from the time the grant is funded to published research. Who wants to wait that long when we know vaccines work, and there is no downside from getting a vaccine on top of natural immunity? Third, there are ethical considerations. What if natural immunity is not as effective? By preventing people from getting the vaccine in a study, we may be harming them.

                *Keep in mind, its not binary. J&J is 66% effective. Natural immunity may be less, 40%. Or more, we don’t know.

                1. dwb,
                  The effectiveness of dwb has been already studied and measured in terms of seriology and even in terms of actual immune response in patients.
                  Your comment “There is no way to know the effectiveness of natural immunity. For all we know you have to get COVID at least twice to get the kind of immunity two shots of Pfizer give you” has been investigated and is just wrong and betrays a lack of understanding of the immune mechanism.
                  Public health officials in EU countries have reach a conclusion opposite to yours

              2. The problem with the “natural immunity” debate about COVID is that its largely happening among people who dont understand immunity. People think in terms of the chicken pox model, where you get it once and never get it again. Except that you do get chicken pox later in life, its called shingles!

                Immunity is not binary. It would appear that people can get COVID over and over (although less mild each time). Given that, my advice is that people should train their immune system at every chance: If you’ve had covid, get the vaccine. If you have had the vaccine, get a booster.

                If you look back in history, the three largest killers in 1900 were flu, pneumonia, and TB.

                My feeling is that COVID is with us forever now, and some variant will be circulating forever. Nothing we can do about it. We cannot wear masks or lockdown forever. They wont help either (in fact, lockdowns/masks select for more contagious variants, they may have inadvertently given us delta).

                So, just learn to stop panicking and live with it. Get the Nth+1 vaccine if you are at risk.

                1. There actually have been some studies, but not nearly as many as you’d expect if there weren’t some politics going on. Natural immunity is in the same ball park as the vaccine, a bit more variability, but it appears to decay slower.

                  The only reason I didn’t get the vaccine against Alpha was that I got my immunity the hard way before it was available for my cohort in this area. I fully plan to get the vaccine for Delta when it becomes available, unless history repeats. I hear they’re talking about just doing a combined influenza/Covid shot this flu season, that works for me.

                  Yes, I expect Covid is with us forever, or at least until we develop some advanced medical tech that renders us immune to viruses. OTOH, at least four of the “common colds” are coronaviruses, and I’m rather expecting Covid 19 to evolve into another common cold, with time.

                  Really, the only reason it hit so bad is that it hasn’t had a chance to evolve to be a proper fit to humans, and nobody had the chance to get it as a kid. Imagine if Chickenpox appeared today, and nobody had ever had it as a child. It would be terrifying, wouldn’t it? The reason people were afraid of Smallpox, but much less afraid of Chickenpox, is that getting it as a child wasn’t a big deal, and protected you as an adult.

                  Covid 19 is pretty much the same deal.

                  1. “I’m rather expecting Covid 19 to evolve into another common cold, with time.”
                    Brett,
                    You’re too old to be such an optimist

                    1. I’m being a realist, not an optimist: The common cold represents a kind of evolutionary sweet spot for viruses, which is why there are hundreds of “common cold” viruses. Any respiratory virus that can, will tend to evolve into one with time, and as several coronaviruses already have, I presume Covid-19 can, too.

                2. dwb,
                  As far as we know the immunity conferred by the vaccines is also relatively short lived. Counts of T-cells and anti-bodies seem to have a half-life of 6 months. What you call a debate has been and continues to be studied scientifically for both vaccine and covid-recovered immunity. Moreover, the two types may fare very differently to the lambda variant from Peru.
                  See “SARS-CoV-2 Lambda variant exhibits higher infectivity and immune resistance” bioRxiv preprint doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.07.28.454085.

                  As for your advice, I plan to get my booster as soon as the US makes it available. In fact you should be asking whiy is the White House dragging its heals on a booster rollout when the UK and Israel are already laucnhing full programs

                  1. I find the research all over the place. An Austrailian study that agrees with you about natural immunity degrading quickly, and an NIH and Thai study that comes the the opposite conclusion (for example: https://www.cell.com/cell-reports-medicine/fulltext/S2666-3791(21)00203-2). The Thai study suggests that it even might depend on the variant.

                    I tend to think the Thai study is closest to the truth: natural immunity to the alpha variant is likely less protective against the delta variant. And natural immunity to delta seems less protective against delta itself as well. COVID naturally evolves to evade our defenses, so that seems possible.

                    In any case, I am not sure its a useful debate. We wont know for months or years, by which time its too late.

                    1. I think the issue is that you can measure immunity by checking antibody titers, and that’s easy, or you can measure it by other more comprehensive means, that are moderately expensive.

                      Antibody titers naturally drop off after a while, this doesn’t mean you’re no longer ‘immune’, so long as your body can recognize the pathogen, and generate fresh antibodies when challenged.

      2. Most companies I do work for gave at least one additional paid day off for side effects. One only did so though after the employees cried foul in that they were not exactly mandated, but it was “highly recommended” by the CEO everyone get the vaccine. For the next few weeks the morning attendance roundup was full of people out sick. Then everyone, assuming because the company suggested it, submitted that absence as a paid work day(s) which got bounced by HR. There was a fun afternoon revolt in a meeting which resulted in a quick announcement that up to three days could be submitted as such.

      3. Many people reliably have two consecutive days off work. Those people could get the vaccine before reporting to work on the last day before one of the “two consecutive days off work” and almost all would be over the expected side effects in time to report back to work three days later.

        The common side effects occur and resolve between 12 hours and 48 hours post vaccination in most people.

        (Anecdotally… I had only a very localized slightly sore region on my upper arm after the first dose of Pfizer. About 28 hours after the second dose I ran a fever of about 100F for about four hours. Also, among those that I know well and discussed it with, none had side effects that were significant or lasted more than 36 hours post vaccination so that’s about zero out of ten that would have missed work even if they hadn’t carefully scheduled their vaccinations.)

        1. Why be sick at home when you can be at work and make everyone else miserable. Vomiting all over the break room is ever so impressive….

          Maybe I’ve been in the public sector too long, but if I were encouraging employees to get vaccinated, I’d definitely give the PTO.

          1. “Maybe I’ve been in the public sector too long,” that explains a lot.”

  8. The feds recommend and the states pass the laws.

    The federal govenrment has no business wielding national dictatorial power.

    Do not grant a leader such emergency powers. They are always given to mass acclaim, fools who refuse to learn from history.

    1. “federal govenrment has no business”
      the Feds can make whatever rules they want for Federal facilities. Even Disney will follow suit.

      1. Like Hollywood did for McCarthy. And it did.

        And then things suddenly changed — and they will again.

        1. Irrelevant again Ed.

  9. When is the media going to ask the question we all want know the answer to?

    Joe is not making any decisions.
    Who exactly is running the country, and under what constitutional authority?

    1. If I had to make one guess, I’d say his chief of staff, Ron Klain.

      1. No, actually it is lizard people living in the earth’s core.

    2. Are you mentally ill?

      1. He is a standard-issue Volokh Conspiracy fan. That is a standard-issue Volokh Conspiracy comment.

        Do right-wing blogs generate these types of losers, or merely attract them?

  10. Hopefully people are not taking the we-are-considering-mandates-but-no-we-aren’t twitter walk back seriously.

    The meta-aalaysis of all this confusion: Clearly, there was a memo circulated that they are considering vaccine mandates. Some people got the other memo to heavily qualify it, some people didn’t, other people don’t know where they are in the process.

    The bottom line: They are considering mandates. The only real questions are the scope and legality of such mandates, and the timing.

    1. “Under consideration” really means nil. If someone brought it up in a meeting, and someone else said “I’ll look into it” it’s under consideration. A nuclear first strike, an asteroid hitting the Earth, UFOs, and alien invasions are also “under consideration” by the weak and meaningless standard politicians use. There are people at the Pentagon looking into all these things as you read this.

      Having (sadly) lived near D.C. for too long the basic rule is: Everything is always under consideration, nothing is ever ruled out.

      I really only worry when high ranking politicians deny something is under consideration. Then I know its going to happen.

    2. dwb,
      Actually such “mandates” have been in place in Federal facilities for at least several months and are now being reinforced.
      What the Feds mandate for their facilities as as terms in their large prime contracts is fully within their power. (BTW, the RFPs for such large contracts typically carry the language that the terms are NOT a topic of negotiation. The Offeror must a sign acceptance or be declared non-responsive.

      1. Mandates for Federal facilities impact mostly Maryland and Northern Virginia, where most people are vaccinated anyway.

        When the CDC goes on Fox to talk about mandates, they are not confining it to Federal facilities.

        1. No dwb,
          they include military bases, national labs, production and testing facilities and other government-owned contractor facilities with hundreds of thousands of employees that are in virtually every state, all over the country.
          You ought to know what you are talking about before you respond

    3. Or it was a trial balloon…

      1. Ed2,
        Did you read my comment that it is being done widely at Federal facilities with little worker complaint and no union outcry

  11. The Ruling Class cannot seem to get its messaging straight. Nonetheless, where I live we shall shield each other from view by wearing masks indoors at all times no matter whether we are among the vaccinated or the great unwashed, the new deplorables, the unvaccinated. This is by decree of a Ruling Class wannabe. However, as the Speaker of the House of Representatives has promised to have anyone without a mask on her premises arrested, we can look forward to similar totalitarian maneuvers. Coming soon: “”Why don’t you just die, peasants, so we can take your stuff?” — Remark overheard in maskless outdoor gathering of liberal leadership.”

    1. Don’t sweat it. They can (and do) take your stuff before you die.

      1. As we should.

        1. You’re known.

  12. “I’ve started working on a longer piece about the statutory and constitutional arguments for a vaccine mandate with respect to 42 U.S.C. § 264. Stay tuned.”

    This should say, “I’ve started working on a legal argument for why 42 U.S.C. § 264 does not authorize the executive to issue a vaccine mandate.” That would be a bit more honest.

  13. No Federal mandate needed, when corporate America will do the bidding.

    Outsourcing fascism is quite the rage these days.

    1. Let Mr Ed know that also.

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