Groups representing big business interests lined up in support of President Joe Biden’s sweeping executive order forcing the private sector to begin mandating workers to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
“Many of us are frustrated with the nearly 80 million Americans who are still not vaccinated, even though the vaccine is safe, effective, and free,” Biden said during remarks at the White House on Thursday.
“We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin,” he continued.
Prior to his remarks, Biden signed an executive order giving the Department of Labor the authority to impose vaccine mandates on all businesses with more than 100 employees. The agency’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration would be tasked with enforcing the mandate and fining companies that choose not to comply.
But the Business Roundtable, a group that represents some of the largest U.S. corporations, applauded the president’s actions on Thursday.
“Business Roundtable welcomes the Biden Administration’s continued vigilance in the fight against COVID,” Business Roundtable President & CEO Joshua Bolten said in a statement. “America’s business leaders know how critical vaccination and testing are in defeating the pandemic, which is why so many have invested resources in encouraging and incentivizing their customers and employees to get vaccinated, including providing paid time off.”
“Over the past several weeks many companies have decided to implement a vaccine mandate for some or all of their employees, a decision we applaud,” Bolten continued.
The Business Roundtable’s membership includes executives of major corporations including Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Apple CEO Tim Cook, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, AT&T CEO John Stankey and many others.
While the Chamber of Commerce didn’t enthusiastically endorse the mandate, the group signaled it wouldn’t oppose the White House’s actions. The group is the largest business organization in the world.
“The Chamber will carefully review the details of the executive orders and associated regulations and will work to ensure that employers have the resources, guidance, and flexibility necessary to ensure the safety of their employees and customers and comply with public health requirements,” a U.S. Chamber spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement.
Small business groups, meanwhile, came out strongly against Biden’s vaccine mandate for businesses. The Job Creators Network (JCN) and Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council both condemned the action, which they said would crush Main Street.
“The President continues to attack small businesses struggling to recover from Covid’s impact on the economy,” JCN President Alfredo Ortiz said in a statement.
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