“If you’re asking if we think the rules [will] impact supply chains, the answer is no, we don’t think that it will,” deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters this week.
Jean-Pierre also dismissed criticism from Republican leaders who have vowed to challenge the mandate, which requires all employers with more than 100 employees to force either vaccination against COVID-19 or weekly testing.
“Why are they getting in the way of trying to protect and save lives?” she said.
The mandate, issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration this week, will not go into effect until Jan. 4.
The decision to extend the deadline past the holidays was, by Jean-Pierre’s own admission, an effort to make things “easier” for employers and employees.
Clearly, then, the White House is aware that the mandate could place another burden on an already-strained supply chain—why else wait until after the holidays?
The primary way Biden’s vaccine mandate could disrupt the supply chain is by forcing truckers and port workers out of their jobs.
The vast majority of truck drivers are not vaccinated, and Biden’s vaccine mandate does not include an exemption for them, according to RealClearPolitics.
I’m told Biden vax mandate for private sector DOES NOT include carve-out for truckers. So all the biggest trucking companies in America – who already face major driver shortages – will see a % of their workforce quit. Supply chain crisis is going to get much worse – very soon.
— Tom Bevan (@TomBevanRCP) November 4, 2021
Unions for the truckers have already warned that thousands of drivers will quit if Biden tries to enforce the mandate.
“While much of the country was sequestered in their homes, the trucking industry served its essential function and did so successfully with safety standards developed by public health experts,” American Trucking Assocation President Chris Spear said in an Oct. 21 letter.
“Now placing vaccination mandates on employers, which in turn force employees to be vaccinated, will create a workforce crisis for our industry and the communities, families and businesses we serve.”