Time to finally put Biden's vaccine mandates behind us

By Representative Kevin Hern for Fox News

The Biden administration spent their first year in office overreaching into every aspect of American life, the most dangerous of which is its unconstitutional vaccine mandate for private businesses.

Since their announcement in November, the mandates have remained under intense legal scrutiny, losing major battles across federal courts. One of the main objections from courts is the lack of power the Executive Branch has to enforce mandates like this. Many courts have upheld that this kind of action can only come from the Legislative Branch.

This week, the case will be argued in front of the Supreme Court—an important step to finally put these mandates behind us.

I hear from constituents every day who are terrified of the consequences of this mandate. Business owners despise the government reaching even further into their operations; workers are stressed over the choice between their freedom and their careers—something no one in this country should ever have to face.

Personal medical decisions are between an individual and their doctor. The government does not have the right to make your medical decisions for you, but President Biden doesn’t care about your personal freedoms nor medical autonomy.

Not only is Biden’s mandate anti-freedom, it’s also anti-business. Employers who do not comply with this executive action—which never went through either chamber of Congress—are faced with fines up to $136,532. These small businesses have already survived brutal pandemic restrictions, many are hanging on by a thread.

The option to test weekly as an alternative is also a burden on workers, and unfeasible for two reasons: cost and availability. Just over the last few weeks, the meager availability of COVID tests has proven disastrous. Despite the Biden Administration’s promise to mail a test to any family that needs one, millions of Americans are unable to access COVID tests.

The long-term implications of a mandate like this are even more unnerving. If the government can take your medical autonomy away this easily, what’s next?

Vaccination revolutionized medicine. Vaccines ended terrible diseases that plagued humankind for centuries, and they continue to protect us today. However, vaccines are not infallible. They are not an option for everyone, and they should never be forced on someone who doesn’t want them.

The Biden administration’s single-track focus on vaccination rather than therapeutics for COVID is telling. We know that none of the COVID vaccines prevent you from contracting the disease, and they don’t prevent you from passing it on to someone else. Mandating a vaccine for workers that accomplishes neither of those things is not only unconstitutional, but incomprehensible.

Recently, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that even though vaccination would not make air travel any safer, he recommends a vaccine mandate on planes as a method to increase the number of vaccinated individuals.

Now, Biden admits what I—and many others—have said all along: the federal government does not have the solution for COVID. This comes after Biden repeatedly promised on the campaign trail that he had a plan to shut down the virus and criticized President Donald Trump for leaving many decisions to local leaders.

Even after this admission from Biden, he has yet to abandon the vaccine mandates.

The President cannot have it both ways. He cannot absolve himself of responsibility for a solution while mandating vaccination on private employers. Not only is his half-in, half-out approach to the pandemic irresponsible, it’s standing directly in the way of our return to normalcy.

Coercion, manipulation, and lies have never been the tools of the righteous. Mr. President, we know that individuals have the right to control their own public health decisions. We’ve known the whole time. It’s not too late to abandon failed strategies and end the overreaching federal mandates.

U.S. Rep. Kevin Hern, a Republican, represents Oklahoma's 1st District.