WEST VIRGINIA (WOAY) – The U.S Senate passed a resolution to overturn President Biden’s vaccine mandate for private-sector employees Wednesday, Dec. 8 in a 52-48 bipartisan vote.
During a virtual press conference the day following, U.S Senator Shelley Moore Capito is voicing the concerns she has for the mandate if it is to pass in the House, a reflection of the worry most West Virginia workers are facing.
“I’ve heard from numerous West Virginians and West Virginia workers that this is an economic issue, people that would be leaving and losing their jobs, but it’s also, many people personally, have health or other reasons why they cannot and would not take the vaccine,” Senator Capito says.
Studies by the CDC among others are showing that 40% of the state’s workforce could be impacted by the mandate, and while Senator Capito supports COVID-19 vaccines, like many others on Capitol Hill, she is opposing such a mandate.
But if workers aren’t being required to get the shot, what can be done to stop the spread? Senator Capito feels it’s all about encouragement.
“I think we just keep encouraging, I think as time goes by and people see that any side-effects or ill-effects by the vaccine are not coming forward, they will feel more inclined to get it,” she says.
“I think that the repetition which the vaccine that was developed kind of scared some people off, in the beginning, I think that dissipates, and I think we just keep working with our business community and others so we can best say, how can we encourage your workforce?”
In the House, where the resolution is heading next, decision-makers will potentially be voting for a lot more than encouraging workers to get the vaccine, as the mandate still may have a chance to be passed there.
Federal courts are now blocking vaccine enforcement, with some judges even claiming President Biden is overstepping his authority in trying to mandate the vaccines.