President Biden Is Right To Make Vaccinations Mandatory For Nursing Home Workers, And Schools Should Be Next | PennLive Editorial
President Joe Biden may be blamed for the moral chaos in Afghanistan, but he’s right in forcing people who work in nursing homes to get vaccinated.
The president succeeded in issuing the warrant while leaving personal freedom intact. If you don’t like the money order, you are free to refuse the money. Nursing homes across the country are receiving Medicare and Medicaid funds and many need it to stay afloat. To keep the money, they must meet federal standards. It’s just one more.
The president set a powerful example for courageous businesses and public servants to protect their workers. If you want to work for us, get vaccinated.
Such mandates are no different from those that everyone faces in the workplace. You cannot drink at work; almost all businesses require sobriety to keep everyone safe. You cannot smoke at work; secondhand smoke is a killer. And you can’t harass your coworkers, or you will be shown the door. Your personal freedom ends when it impacts the health and well-being of your colleagues.
If a workplace needs strong safety protocols, it’s nursing homes. We have seen how COVID-19 has raged among elderly residents of homes across the country. As the virus continues to mutate from delta to lambda, older people could face even greater threats.
Doctors tell us that unvaccinated workers are more likely to bring the virus into the workplace; Recent studies show that unvaccinated people are three times more likely than those who are fully vaccinated to test positive for COVID-19. And the most recent research indicates that fully vaccinated people are less likely to pass the virus on to others.
In addition, unvaccinated people are more likely to become seriously ill, be hospitalized and die. Many retirement homes are already facing serious staff shortages. Getting people vaccinated will keep more of them alive.
There is simply no reason to keep playing with COVID, and President Biden is right to put his foot down. More business and government leaders should do it. Unvaccinated people help the virus mutate, and they extend the day until we can declare the world COVID-free.
President Biden pledges to use all the weapons in his arsenal to fight vaccine hesitation. Withholding federal funds is a powerful incentive to get that it could also use with colleges and universities. And he appears determined to prevent earthy governors from blocking efforts to keep children safe in schools by banning masks. It makes no sense to reject reasonable efforts like masking to stop the spread of the delta variant in schools.
The president gave Education Secretary Miguel Cardona his marching orders: to use all his authority and power against governors who try to “block and intimidate school officials and local educators” who want children to wear masks in class.
And the president says he will use the power of the federal treasury to pay educators who face pay cuts from vindictive local and state governments if they impose masking.
These are all good gestures and show the president’s determination to save as many lives as possible, young and old alike. This president appears to have the character and the courage to do what he thinks is right, despite the political heat – be it in Afghanistan or in the war against COVID here at home.
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