As President Joe Biden prepares to unveil a vaccine mandate for the federal workforce, one of the unions that clamored for his election is arguing that this is not what its members wanted when they supported him.
The American Postal Workers Union issued a statement Wednesday that said forcing the vaccine on workers was wrong.
“Maintaining the health and safety of our members is of paramount importance. While the APWU leadership continues to encourage postal workers to voluntarily get vaccinated, it is not the role of the federal government to mandate vaccinations for the employees we represent,” the union said in the statement on its website.
“Issues related to vaccinations and testing for COVID-19 in the workplace must be negotiated with the APWU. At this time the APWU opposes the mandating of COVID-19 vaccinations in relation to U.S. postal workers.”
Last June, the union attacked former President Donald Trump for even considering the notion of privatization, and said that it supported Biden as the best choice to ensure that union members would face no such disruptions to their lives that Trump might cause.
“Joe Biden has committed to support the Postal Service and its dedicated postal workers. Our union will continue to help build the movement to defend the public Postal Service and win a more just society,” union President Mark Dimondstein said in a statement.
Biden has ridiculed anyone who is not vaccinated, according to Fox News.
“[I]f you’re not vaccinated you’re not nearly as smart as I thought you were,” the president said. “We have a pandemic because of the unvaccinated, and they’re sowing enormous confusion.”
Biden is expected to announce the details of his mandatory vaccination plan Thursday.
Earlier this week, Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a plan that requires all state workers to be vaccinated or be tested weekly. Cuomo’s order requires all patient-facing state health care workers to be vaccinated by Sept. 6.
Biden’s edict about vaccines comes amid a new round of mask mandates that are supposedly being put in place to reduce the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus.
In calling for new rules about wearing masks, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that even vaccinated people can spread the Delta variant of the coronavirus, but the agency has not published any data to support that conclusion, according to The Washington Post.
“They’re making a claim that people with delta who are vaccinated and unvaccinated have similar levels of viral load, but nobody knows what that means,” said Gregg Gonsalves, an associate professor at the Yale School of Public Health. “It’s meaningless unless we see the data.”
Biden’s chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said the CDC’s new recommendations are rooted in its assumptions about the virus, based on the supposed data it has reviewed.
“I think the implications [of the data] are that people who are vaccinated, even when they’re asymptomatic, can transmit the virus, which is the scientific foundation of why this recommendation is being made,” he said.
The Post quoted Fauci as saying officials are hypothesizing on what the high viral loads mean in terms of transmission.
“You can make a reasonable assumption that vaccinated people can transmit the virus just like unvaccinated people can,” Fauci said.
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