President Joe Biden continues to insist that his vaccine mandates have been a roaring success. The truth is far different. In fact, the only thing the mandate seems to have increased is the labor shortage and supply-chain crisis.
“It’s working. We’re making progress,” Biden said recently, pointing to the fact that daily cases had declined 47% and hospitalizations were down 38% in the previous month and a half.
Somehow, the army of media fact-checkers failed to notice that Biden was, shall we say, misleading the public.
First, Biden’s employer mandates still haven’t taken effect, since the federal rules governing companies with more than 100 workers have yet to be released. Biden’s mandate covering federal contractors doesn’t take effect until Dec. 8.
Second, the decline in new COVID cases started at the end of August, nearly two weeks before Biden’s Sept. 9 pronouncement, and hospitalizations and deaths have followed suit, as expected.
This bell curve pattern is the same thing COVID has demonstrated in the past – before vaccines were available or were widespread. Last winter, for example, new COVID cases peaked at the start of January and then plunged, at a time when a comparatively tiny fraction of the public was vaccinated.
The other inconvenient truth for Biden is that vaccination rates are no guarantee that COVID rates will decline. The United Kingdom, to cite on example, is right now experiencing a surge in COVID cases, even though 73% of its population is either fully or partially vaccinated.
In contrast, new COVID cases have been steadily falling in Mexico in recent weeks, where only 40% of the population is fully vaccinated and another 14% partially so.
We’ve pointed out in this space before how most of the states in the U.S. that had been seeing rising COVID cases in previous weeks also had among the highest vaccination rates.
But the bigger news is that, for all Biden’s browbeating and dictatorial threats, daily vaccination rates haven’t budged. In fact, they are below where they were on Sept. 3, six days before he made his pronouncement.
And while daily vaccinations did climb for a brief period after his mandate speech, they fell again and are now consistently lower than they were on the day Biden was sworn in. See the chart below.
Whatever Biden had hoped to achieve, he’s failed to persuade those who don’t want or don’t need the vaccine to get a shot.
While there’s no evidence that his call for mandates has accelerated vaccination rates, it appears that Biden’s dictates are contributing to the labor shortages – including in hospitals – that are plaguing the economy, disrupting supply chains, and pushing up prices.
Eric Hoplin, president and CEO of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, warned in a letter to Biden last week that unless the president delays or loosens his mandate covering federal contractors, “thousands of valued employees will be forced out of their jobs shortly before the holidays, the already compromised supply chain will be under added pressure during the busiest time of the year.” The result, he said “could be nothing short of catastrophic.”
Also last week, the Federal Reserve “beige book” said that “Firms reported high turnover, as workers left for other jobs or retired. Child-care issues and vaccine mandates were widely cited as contributing to the problem, along with COVID-related absences.”
A poll by the Society for Human Resource Management found that 90% of its members say it will be difficult to implement Biden’s mandate.
“Organizations are concerned about the challenges to implementing the new vaccine mandate during a time when there is a talent shortage in many industries,” said Trent Burner, SHRM’s vice president of research. “The majority of organizations say mandating the vaccine will impact their organization’s recruitment, retention, morale and engagement, and business operations.”
Meanwhile, there is a steady stream of stories about workers quitting or getting fired for not complying with various vaccine dictates — from nurses, to firefighters, to employees at Los Alamos nuclear weapons lab.
For Biden to call the results of his authoritarian vaccine mandates a success shows just how dangerously out of touch he is with reality.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board