White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Friday that it is “misinformation” to use the term “vaccine mandate” when referring to the Biden administration’s “vaccine requirement” for private companies, which states that employers with at least 100 employees must require their workers to get vaccinated or undergo weekly coronavirus testing.
The policy, along with two other Biden vaccine mandates that will impact federal contractors and about 17 million health care workers, is scheduled to take effect Jan. 4. Certain medical and religious exemptions will be granted.
There is a Dec. 8 compliance deadline for workers employed directly by the federal government.
Lawsuits from a number of private businesses and GOP-led states have been filed in response to the administration’s vaccine mandates for businesses and federal contract workers.
“As for the legal side of this, let me be crystal clear to avoid what appears to be possible misinformation or disinformation around the emergency temporary standard being a ‘vaccine mandate.’ That would be on its face incorrect,” Jean-Pierre said at Friday’s White House press briefing.
“As has been explicit for months, it is a standard for safe workplaces to either comply with weekly testing or to be vaccinated,” she continued. “And second, as outlined, the Department of Labor has a responsibility to keep workers safe and the legal authority to do so.”
Jean-Pierre also said the administration was not concerned about its vaccine messaging, telling reporters Friday: “If you look at the vaccination requirement, it would cover 100 million American workers. That’s how we’re going to get to the other side of this.”