Biden insists vaccine mandates should NOT divide us, says rules for businesses are coming 'soon' and condemns 'misinformation' over Southwest delays in six-minute speech where he took no questions
President Joe Biden insisted that vaccine mandates shouldn't divide Americans, as he said directives for businesses are coming 'soon' and condemned 'misinformation' including that vaccine mandates were responsible for Southwest airline delays.
'Let's be clear, vaccination requirements should not be another issue that divides us,' Biden said. 'That's why I continue to battle the misinformation out there.'
He then pointed to Southwest Airlines, noting that the 'head of the pilots union and CEO dismissed critics who claimed vaccination mandates contributed to flight disruptions.'
'School board members, religious leaders and doctors across the country are fighting misinformation and educating people about the importance of vaccines,' Biden continued.
Southwest was plagued by delays and cancellations over the weekend, as travelers again hit the skies, but airlines face staffing shortages after downsizing during the pandemic.
Conservatives pointed to the budget carrier's decision to make employees get vaccinated against COVID-19 as the reason for the delays.
There's no evidence that's the case.
'To be clear: None of the information from Southwest, its pilots union, or the FAA indicates that this weekend’s cancellations were related to vaccine mandates,” the Federal Aviation Administration wrote in a tweet Monday evening,' the FAA said in a tweet.
While companies can mandate vaccines for their employees, it's unclear when the government's broader mandate will go into effect.
On Tuesday, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration submitted the proposed rule that would mandate vaccines for companies with more than 100 people to the Office of Management and Budget.
The rule will be implemented once OMB's review is complete and it's published in the Federal Registe
'The Labor Department will soon issue an emergency rule for companies with 100 or more employees to implement vaccination requirements among their workforce,' Biden said Thursday.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki wouldn't give a timeline when asked about the rule Wednesday.
'We don't, as a ... longstanding practice, comment on the timeline of how long that takes because we want to allow that process to happen,' she answered. 'But, you know, it should be an indication that it's there and now it is being reviewed.'
'And once it is finalized and through the [Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs] process and review, it will be posted publicly in the Federal Register and you will all have access to every detail of it,' Psaki added.