Washington Watch

Biden: COVID vaccine mandates terminate May 11

Visitors to America can travel like it’s 2019. Employees and contractors can work without medical coercion.

President Joe Biden announced this week that as of May 11, all federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates are terminated.

These include vaccine mandates for foreign travelers to America, for federal employees, and for federal contractors.

May 11 is when the final COVID-19 emergency ends. The emergency declared by President Donald Trump in March 2020 was terminated last month by an act of Congress and the president. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-declared emergency ends on May 11.

In its announcement, the Biden White House portrayed the vaccine mandate as a success:

Since January 2021, COVID-19 deaths have declined by 95%, and hospitalizations are down nearly 91%. Globally, COVID-19 deaths are at their lowest levels since the start of the pandemic. Following a whole-of-government effort that led to a record number of nearly 270 million Americans receiving at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, we are in a different phase of our response to COVID-19 than we were when many of these requirements were put into place.

The federal government claims a 98% compliance rate for employees, but uses an expansive definition.

“The federal government successfully implemented requirements for its workforce in a way that increased vaccination to achieve 98% compliance, reflecting employees who had received at least one dose of a vaccine or had a pending or approved exception or extension request filed by January 2022,” the announcement reads.

Compliance is defined as one dose, though most COVID vaccines require two shots. Compliance is also defined as “a pending exception or extension request.”

Foreign visitors to the U.S. have been faced with either bans on cross-border driving or vaccine mandates since March 2020. Three years and two months after the White House asked for “15 days to slow the spread,” visitors to America will be able to travel like it’s 2019.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.