The American Medical Association (AMA) was quick to issue a statement condemning the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling against President Biden’s mandate of Covid-19 vaccination or testing for large corporations under the auspices of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA).
“In the face of a continually evolving Covid-19 pandemic that poses a serious danger to the health of our nation, the Supreme Court today halted one of the most effective tools in the fight against further transmission and death from this aggressive virus. While the American Medical Association (AMA) is pleased by today’s opinion allowing the Center for Medicare and Medicaid’s (CMS) interim rule requiring Covid-19 vaccines for health care workers to take effect, we are deeply disappointed that the Court blocked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) emergency temporary standard for Covid-19 vaccination and testing for large businesses from moving forward,” AMA President Gerald E. Harmon, MD, said in a statement.
The court ruled 6-3 against allowing OSHA’s measures to stand, but 5-4 in favor of allowing the mandate for health care workers.
“Workplace transmission has been a major factor in the spread of Covid-19,” Harmon continued. “Now more than ever, workers in all settings across the country need common-sense, evidence-based protections against Covid-19 infection, hospitalization, and death—particularly those who are immunocompromised or cannot get vaccinated due to a medical condition. In fact, recent data released by United Airlines shows that before their own vaccine requirement went into effect, on average, more than one United employee was dying each week from the virus; however, today, none of their vaccinated workers are currently hospitalized with Covid-19 despite breakthrough infections and 3,000 current positive employees.”
Harmon added: “The high court’s decision does not contest the reliability of scientific evidence in support of Covid-19 vaccine requirements, and in fact, cites the AMA’s support in upholding the CMS rule. Widespread use of the Covid-19 vaccines has proven to be the safest, most effective way to reduce virus transmission and public harm. We continue to urge large employers to do their part to safeguard their workforces and communities so we can defeat this Covid-19 pandemic together.”
“The court heard arguments last Friday in the legal fight over temporary mandates issued in November by two federal agencies aimed at increasing U.S. vaccination rates and making workplaces and healthcare settings safer,” Reuters reported. “The cases tested presidential powers to address a swelling public health crisis that already has killed more than 845,000 Americans.”
Candace Hoffmann, Managing Editor, BreakingMED™
Kaiser Health News
Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit news service covering health issues. It is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.