The Biden administration framed its vaccine mandate for private employers in life-and-death terms Monday in a legal filing that sought to get the requirement back on track after it was halted by a federal court.
Its filing in response to a stay issued over the weekend by the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said there is no reason to rush into a ruling on whether the halt should be made permanent because the vaccine mandate won’t take effect until Jan. 4. Stopping the mandate from taking effect will only prolong the COVID-19 pandemic and would “cost dozens or even hundreds of lives per day,” lawyers for the Justice and Labor departments said.
As of Sunday, the seven-day rolling average for daily new deaths in the U.S. was 1,151, but it’s not clear what role a future vaccine mandate for private businesses would play in reducing that figure.