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US Vaccine Mandate expected to negatively impact economy

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on plans to stop the spread of the Delta variant and boost Covid-19 vaccinations at the State Dinning Room of the White House, in Washington, DC on September 9, 2021. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP)

US President Biden's unprecedented and aggressive move to make vaccines mandatory for a considerable portion of American society, about two thirds of all employees, can highlight the gravity of the risks the US economy is currently facing from the deadly pandemic.

The Coronavirus pandemic has not only cost countless lives, but has also hit the world economy hard and the United States, which has the world's largest economy, has not been exempt.

The US is the world's worst hit nation by the pandemic. Under former President Donald Trump the country launched a program called “Operation Warp Speed” to facilitate and accelerate the production and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

US pharmaceutical companies developed several vaccines, at unprecedented speed, and rolled them out to the general population.

Trump's successor, Joe Biden, and his administration set a target of vaccinating 70% of the country's population, at least partially, by the Fourth of July; however the country only managed to meet the target a month later despite generous incentives for vaccination given to Americans.

Why are so many Americans refusing to get vaccinated?

At least 40% of the US population is a victim of a lot of silly conspiracy theories about the vaccine and are adamant about not taking the vaccine.

 It's a big problem in the US that's been stoked by social media and Q-Anon and career right wing politicians, who are manipulating it all for their personal gain, so the US is faced with this real problem.

Jack Rasmus, Economist and Author

The vaccination program proved effective at bringing down the number of daily COVID-19 cases and deaths to a certain extent, however, the highly infectious Delta variant of the Coronavirus sent a new wave of cases and fatalities across the world.

Scrambling to contain the spiraling outbreak, President Biden announced new mandatory vaccination plans on Thursday.

I will sign an executive order that will now require all executive branch federal employees to be vaccinated, all, I've signed another executive order that will require federal contractors to do the same. If you want to work with the federal government, do business with us, get vaccinated.

Joe Biden, US President

But in addition to saving lives, the US government is aiming to simultaneously save the economy.

Would the vaccine mandate boost the US economy?

Well, it certainly would help, because we have a problem going on, a lot of workers, not wanting to go back to work now that the COVID Δ (Delta) variant is accelerating (in) a lot of places in the country that was obvious in the last month's job report.

Jack Rasmus, Economist and Author

The mandatory vaccination program has triggered a backlash from American conservatives.

Hours after the democratic US president announced the Coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal workers, Republicans lambasted the decision, suggesting that it was unconstitutional.

Various political figures, including Republican National Committee Chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel, threatened to take legal action against the Biden administration, with a majority of the critics questioning the administration's authority to declare such a mandate.

Back in March, the Democrats in the US Congress passed a bill for a $1.9 trillion Coronavirus stimulus package without a single vote from Republican lawmakers.

The plan was intended to send payments of up to $1,400 per person to the majority of American households, extend the $300 per week Unemployment Insurance Supplement and put funds into a vaccine distribution effort.

The Republicans argued that the package was superfluous as the economy was reopening anyway.

They believed the economy would suffer down the road as the Bill earmarked a considerable amount of money.

Is the Republican opposition to the stimulus package well or ill founded?

Well you know that's a false argument, what the Republicans are really about is that they don't want to spend on these stimulus programs because if the stimulus programs spending amounts to significant fiscal stimulus, then they'll have to raise taxes on corporations and investors, which means they will have to redo some of the generous Trump tax cuts of 2017, (which)  gave four and a half trillion dollars in tax cuts to corporations and wealthy individuals and investors... they would have to raise taxes and that's really what it's about.

They don't want to raise those taxes; they don't want to take away Trump tax cuts, they don’t want to have to spend a lot on social programs.

Jack Rasmus, Economist and Author

With US COVID-19 figures rising in recent weeks, economic indicators are expected to be negatively impacted.

Biden's unprecedented and aggressive move to make vaccines mandatory for a considerable portion of American society can highlight the gravity of the risks the US economy is currently facing from the deadly contagion.

 


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