‘Significant’ Fines for Businesses Serving Unvaccinated Customers: NSW Deputy Leader

Businesses will face “significant fines” if they serve unvaccinated customers, an Australian state leader has announced.

The announcement from the state of New South Wales (NSW) Deputy Premier John Barilaro come after the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian unveiled the “roadmap to freedom” to allow retail outlets and hospitality venues to open their doors to customers once 70 percent of the state population is vaccinated.

“There will be a poster on the front window to say the business is vaccinated,” Barilaro said in comments obtained by The Daily Telegraph. “We will make sure it is very visible for the public.”

“There will be significant fines for breaches,” he said. “There’s going to be a level of trust.”

“But we accept that there’s always going to be a component of people that do the wrong thing, and they don’t always remain compliant,” he added. “That is why the settings are quite strict and quite conservative.”

On Sept. 9, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian formally announced the roadmap that outlined how the state would progress out of the lockdown that has been ongoing since late June to contain an outbreak of the Delta variant of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.

“Freedoms” would be granted to fully vaccinated individuals once 70 percent of the state population was vaccinated, including businesses such as hair salons, gyms, restaurants, and churches.

“And it’s only for people who are vaccinated. So, you have been warned, if you’re not vaccinated, come forward and get the vaccine; otherwise, you won’t be able to participate in the many freedoms that people have at 70 percent vaccination,” Berejiklian told reporters.

The premier said more freedoms would be on offer once 80 percent of the state was vaccinated.

Barilaro and Dr. Kerry Chant, the chief health officer, have also earmarked upgrades to current contact tracing systems to monitor the vaccination status of customers.

The NSW roadmap includes the following:

GATHERINGS IN THE HOME AND PUBLIC SPACES

  • Up to five visitors in a home where all adults are vaccinated (not including children 12 and under).
  • Up to 20 people can gather outdoors.

HOSPITALITY VENUES, SHOPS AND GYMS

  • Hospitality venues can open with one person per four sq/m inside and one person per two sq/m outside, and standing while drinking will be permitted outside.
  • Shops can open under one person per four sq/m rule.
  • Unvaccinated people will only be allowed to access critical retail shops, such as supermarkets.
  • Personal services—such as hairdressers and nail salons—can open with one person per four sq/m, capped at five clients per premises.
  • Gyms and indoor recreation facilities can open under one person per four sq/m rule, with classes capped at 20.
  • Sporting facilities including swimming pools can open.

STADIUMS, THEATRES AND MAJOR OUTDOOR RECREATION FACILITIES

  • Major outdoor recreation facilities – including stadiums, racecourses, theme parks and zoos – can open with one person per four sq/m, capped at 5000 people.
  • Up to 500 people can attend ticketed and seated outdoor events.
  • Indoor entertainment facilities—including cinemas, theatres, music halls, museums, and galleries – can open with one person per four sq/m, or 75 per cent fixed seated capacity.

WEDDINGS, FUNERALS AND PLACES OF WORSHIP

  • Up to 50 guests can attend weddings and dances, but eating and drinking are only permitted while seated.
  • Up to 50 guests can attend funerals, with eating and drinking permitted while seated.
  • Churches and places of worship can open subject to the one person per four sq/m rule, with no singing.

TRAVEL

  • Domestic travel, including trips to regional NSW, is permitted.
  • Caravan parks and camping grounds can open.
  • Carpooling will be permitted.
  • Non-vaccinated people under 16 will have access to all outdoor settings but will only be able to visit indoor venues with people from their households.
  • Employers must continue to allow employees to work from home if the employee is able to do so.
  • There will be revised guidance on isolation for close and casual contacts who are fully vaccinated.

MASKS

  • Masks remain mandatory for all indoor public venues—including public transport, front-of-house hospitality, retail and business premises and on planes—and at airports.
  • Only hospitality staff will be required to wear a mask outdoors.
  • Children aged under 12 won’t need a mask indoors.

SCHOOLS

  • Kindergarten and Year One students will return to the classroom on Oct. 25.
  • Year 12 students undertaking their final HSC exams can study on campus from Oct. 25.
Daniel Y. Teng

Daniel Y. Teng

 994 Views

Judge Blocks Florida’s ‘Anti-Riot’ Law, Says it Violates First Amendment Rights

A federal judge on Thursday temporarily blocked Florida’s new “anti-riot” law championed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, saying that it violates First Amendment rights.

U.S. District Judge Mark Walker on Thursday did not rule the entire statute likely violated the U.S. Constitution, but found that the state legislature’s new definition of the word “riot” was too vague and confusing to satisfy free-speech rights guaranteed under the First Amendment.

“If this court does not enjoin the statute’s enforcement, the lawless actions of a few rogue individuals could effectively criminalize the protected speech of hundreds, if not thousands, of law-abiding Floridians,” the Obama-appointed judge wrote in a 90 page ruling that included a three-page history of the civil rights movement in Florida dating back to 1956..

The so-called anti-riot measure, known as HB1, was signed into law by DeSantis on April 19. The Republican governor said at the time that it’s “the strongest anti-rioting, pro-law enforcement piece of legislation in the country.”

The law increases criminal penalties for assault, defacing monuments, and vandalizing public property during riots. Local governments that interfere with law enforcement trying to contain violent demonstrations will be penalized.

Protesters confronts riot police
Protesters confronts riot police in front of a burning police car during a protest against police brutality in Miami, Florida., on May 30, 2020. (Adam DelGiudice/AFP via Getty Images)

The bill changed the definition of what a “riot” is in the state of Florida. Under the law, a riot is defined as a violent public disturbance involving three or more people acting with a common intent that causes damage to public property or injuries—or can cause imminent injury or damage.

The law also creates a new second-degree felony—“aggravated riot”—for any riot involving more than 25 people and resulting in grievous bodily harm or more than $5,000 in property damage. It would also apply if participants use or threaten to use a deadly weapon, or block roadways by force or by the threat of force.

DeSantis said during the signing event in April that the left-wing cries of “defund the police” that echoed throughout Black Lives Matter demonstrations last year is an “insane theory” and is “not going to be allowed to ever carry the day in the state of Florida.”

Democrats and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have said that the law is designed to intimidate Black Lives Matter and related protesters. The ACLU and several other groups sued the governor, state Attorney General Ashley Moody and others over the measure earlier this year.

Epoch Times Photo
Demonstrators participate in a protest in Miami, Florida, on June 12, 2020. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

DeSantis in a written statement said that he “vehemently” disagrees with the judge’s decision.

“But this case was always going to be decided by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals,” the governor added. “There is a difference between a peaceful protest and a riot, and Floridians do not want to see the mayhem and violence associated with riots in their communities.”

The ACLU of Florida welcomed the decision in a statement shortly after the ruling, saying that the law “appears designed to target those who protest police violence.”

“We are glad the court has agreed to suspend enforcement of this key provision while we continue to advocate to ensure that protesters in Florida can safely exercise their right to speak out against injustice,” it said.

Meanwhile, DeSantis said during a press briefing on Thursday that Florida would be appealing the decision.

“That’s a foreordained conclusion from that court,” DeSantis said, The Washington Post reported. “I guarantee you, we’ll win that on appeal.”

Jack Phillips and Reuters contributed to this report.

Isabel van Brugen

Isabel van Brugen
Reporter
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master’s in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.

 1,222 Views

Pennsylvania Couple Sentenced for Conspiring to Provide Support to ISIS

A married Pennsylvania couple has been sentenced to prison for conspiracy to provide material support and resources to the ISIS terrorist organization according to a release from Acting United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams.

Neither the release nor the U.S. Attorney’s office has disclosed where in Pennsylvania the coupled lived.

Shahidul Gaffar, 40, and Nabila Khan, 35, were sentenced to 18 months and two years in prison, respectively, by United States District Court Judge Joshua D. Wolson, who also sentenced both defendants to three years of supervised release.

According to court documents, in 2015, Gaffar and Khan, originally from Bangladesh, provided and attempted to provide financial support to two of Khan’s brothers who traveled to Syria to join ISIS fighters.

Gaffar and Khan discussed the brothers’ travel plans in detail with each other, as well as with the brothers and other family members, as early as September 2014. In January 2015, Khan asked her sister living in Bangladesh to sell some of Khan’s gold and provide the money to their oldest brother, J.K., in order to assist him in traveling to Syria. Khan then flew to Bangladesh to wish J.K. farewell before his departure in February 2015.

Gaffar, who remained in Pennsylvania, sent supportive messages to Khan’s mother, stating: “Be [p]roud mother for the noble cause and for the sake of Allah!!!”  the release said.

Khan’s second brother, I.K., had come to the United States on a student visa and resided with Khan and Gaffar in Pennsylvania from June 2014 until February 2015, when he returned to Bangladesh. Over the next few months, Khan, who was still in Bangladesh, observed I.K. watching terrorist propaganda videos featuring Anwar al-Awlaki, a designated global terrorist who is now deceased.

Around the same time, Gaffar began sending international money transfers to I.K. in Bangladesh. These funds had multiple purposes, but one was to support I.K.’s travel to Syria to join ISIS.

In June 2015, Gaffar sent a message to Khan, stating: “Let [I.K.] know that I will manage and send 3000 dollars if Allah wills. Let’s help him, my love, for the good cause who knows that might be enough to get forgiveness from Allah and accept[ance] [in]to heaven.”

In July 2015, Gaffar continued to communicate with Kahn regarding the conspiracy, saying in part: “I feel bad for mom and dad, at the same time, I feel very proud. [W]hat a lucky mom and dad.”

In early July 2015, I.K. traveled to Syria to join ISIS. The next day, Gaffar and Khan discussed via electronic messages how Khan had tried to give I.K. more money right before he left, and days later, Kahn exchanged multiple electronic messages with a family member discussing I.K.’s arrival in Syria and reunion there with J.K.

Gaffar sent reassuring messages to Khan, stating that it was “cool” that she had been able to observe I.K.’s radical Islamist “changes” from “beginning to end,” the release said.

According to court documents, in May 2016, Khan received an electronic message that I.K. had been wounded in the fighting in Syria, and in August 2016, Khan’s mother sent a message to Kahn with photographs of I.K.’s wounds sustained while in Syria.

In September 2016, I.K. changed his online social media account profile picture to an image depicting himself, his brother, and another male sitting in front of the black ISIS flag with firearms on a table in front of them, overtly identifying himself and his brother as members of ISIS.

I.K. was ultimately killed in the fighting in Syria in March 2019.

A discarded ISIS flag
This picture taken shows a discarded ISIS terrorist group flag lying on the ground in the village of Baghouz in Syria’s eastern Deir Ezzor province near the Iraqi border, on March 24, 2019. (Giuseppe Cacace/AFP via Getty Images)

“This case draws into sharp focus the first priority of the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office: protecting our Nation from all security threats,” Williams said in the release.

“The defendants encouraged and financially supported the efforts of Nabila Kahn’s brothers to join the murderous terrorist group ISIS, which is a direct threat to the United States. The public can rest assured that our office is working tirelessly every day to protect all Americans from the threat of terrorism,” she said.

Bradley S. Benavides, acting special agent in charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division said that money and manpower are the lifeblood of terrorist groups such as ISIS.

“Gaffar and Khan, while enjoying all the rights and privileges of living in America, conspired to support violent extremists who consider our country their sworn enemy,” Benavides said. “Know that FBI Philadelphia’s Joint Terrorism Task Force is working diligently around the clock to detect and disrupt anyone whose beliefs have crossed the line into terrorist activity.”

The case was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Sarah Wolfe and Robert Livermore.

Beth Brelje

Beth Brelje
Reporter
Beth Brelje is an investigative journalist covering Pennsylvania politics, courts, and the commonwealth’s most interesting and sometimes hidden news.

Send her your story ideas:

 1,588 Views

Biden Tells China’s Xi: Both Nations Mustn’t ‘Veer Into Conflict’

President Joe Biden on Thursday held his second phone call with Chinese leader Xi Jinping since becoming U.S. president—the first call between the two leaders in seven months.

The White House in a short statement said the two leaders in their approximately 90-minute phone conversation had “a broad, strategic discussion,” including “areas where our interests converge, and areas where our interests, values, and perspectives diverge.”

“This discussion, as President Biden made clear, was part of the United States’ ongoing effort to responsibly manage the competition between the United States and the PRC [People’s Republic of China],” the statement added. “The two leaders discussed the responsibility of both nations to ensure competition does not veer into conflict.”

According to multiple reports which cited senior Biden administration officials, the call was initiated by Biden with the aim of setting “guardrails and parameters” in the U.S.-China relationship.

Beijing released a lengthy statement on the phone call, a contrast to the short statement from the White House. According to China’s state-run media Xinhua, Xi told Biden that it was United States’ recent policies on China that have “caused serious difficulties” for the bilateral ties. 

The Chinese statement also said Biden told Xi that the United States “has no intention of changing its one-China policy.” 

China’s hawkish state-run media Global Times has further twisted the Chinese statement to promote CCP propaganda. In a tweet, the outlet wrote Biden said the U.S. “has no intention of change its one-China principle.”

The United States has long held a “one-China policy,” which asserts that there is only one sovereign state with the name “China,” but it is different from the “one-China principle” under which the Chinese regime asserts sovereignty over Taiwan. The Taiwan government has also rejected China’s “one-China principle.” 

The Epoch Times has contacted the White House for comment.

The call comes at a moment when there is no shortage of thorny issues between the two nations, including cybersecurity breaches originating from China, Beijing’s handling of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic, and what the White House has labeled as “coercive and unfair” trade practices by Beijing.

The White House is hopeful the two sides can work together on issues of mutual concern—including climate change and preventing a nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula—despite growing differences.

Beijing, however, has pushed back against U.S. pressure and increasingly has suggested it could remain broadly uncooperative until Biden dials down criticism on what it deems Chinese internal matters.

The White House readout said the leaders during the call agreed to engage “openly and straightforwardly” on issues where the nations are at odds and where there is agreement.

“This discussion, as President Biden made clear, was part of the United States’ ongoing effort to responsibly manage the competition between the United States and the PRC,” the White House statement said. “President Biden underscored the United States’ enduring interest in peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and the world.”

Biden’s comments on the Indo-Pacific were conspicuously missing from the Chinese statement. Instead, Biden allegedly told Xi that the United States was willing to have “more candid exchanges and constructive dialogues” with China, and the United States will bring the Sino-U.S. relationship “back on track,” according to the Chinese statement.

Additionally, Biden also said the United States “looks forward to strengthening communication and cooperation with China” on climate change,” according to the Chinese statement.

Biden from the start of his presidency has sought to put greater focus on China, rallying allies to speak in a more unified voice about Beijing’s human rights record, its trade practices, and its military’s increasingly assertive behavior that has unnerved U.S. allies in the Pacific. He sees Beijing as the most significant economic competitor to the United States and a growing national security concern.

Frank Fang and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Isabel van Brugen

Isabel van Brugen
Reporter
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master’s in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.

 1,343 Views

RNC Announces Plans to Sue Biden Over Vaccine Mandate

The Republican National Committee (RNC) on Sept. 10 announced it plans to sue President Joe Biden’s administration over its COVID-19 vaccine and testing mandate.

It comes just one day after the president issued sweeping new federal vaccine requirements that could affect as many as 100 million Americans and which the administrations hopes will curb the surging delta variant.

Taking to Twitter, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel announced, “Joe Biden told Americans when he was elected that he would not impose vaccine mandates. He lied. When his decree goes into effect, the RNC will sue the administration to protect Americans and their liberties.”

McDaniel also shared a press release announcing the RNC’s intent to sue the administration for what they called an “unconstitutional mandate.”

“Joe Biden told Americans when he was elected that he would not impose vaccine mandates. He lied. Now small businesses, workers, and families across the country will pay the price. Like many Americans, I am pro-vaccine and anti-mandate.

“Many small businesses and workers do not have the money or legal resources to fight Biden’s unconstitutional actions and authoritarian decrees, but when his decree goes into effect, the RNC will sue the administration to protect Americans and their liberties.”

On Thursday, Biden signed a new executive order mandating that federal workers get a COVID-19 vaccine and removing the option for workers and contractors to choose not to get vaccinated.

Federal workers will have approximately 75 days to become fully vaccinated, however, there will be “limited exceptions for legally recognized reasons such as disability or religious objections,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington.

Those who fail to comply with the new order could face progressive disciplinary action, however, agencies are going to work with employees to ensure they understand the benefits of vaccination, and how the vaccines are free, easy, and widely accessible,” Psaki said.

Also on Thursday, Biden said he will direct the Department of Labor to develop a rule that companies with more than 100 employees will require vaccinations or once-per-week testing for their workers, potentially affecting tens of millions of U.S. private-sector employees and health care workers.

The administration’s rule will require that “all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work,”which will affect more than 80 million workers in the private sector.

Epoch Times Photo
Vaccine proof requirement note displays at a restaurant store front in New York on September 7, 2021. (Chung I Ho/The Epoch Times)

During remarks on Sept. 9, Biden didn’t hold back from pointing the finger at the 80 million people who haven’t yet been vaccinated, saying, “We’ve been patient. “But our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us.”

The president went on to claim that unvaccinated people are “crowding our hospitals” and said vaccines provide protection against COVID-19 hospitalizations.

“We’re in a tough stretch,” he added. “This is not about freedom or personal choice.”

Biden previously mandated COVID-19 vaccination, but allowed workers who did not want it to remain unvaccinated, so long as they abided by strict protocols such as social distancing, wearing masks and getting regularly tested for the virus.

The new orders are part of Biden’s “six-pronged, comprehensive national strategy that employs the same science-based approach that was used to successfully combat previous variants of COVID-19 earlier this year,” according to The White House.

“This plan will ensure that we are using every available tool to combat COVID-19 and save even more lives in the months ahead, while also keeping schools open and safe, and protecting our economy from lockdowns and damage.”

The latest mandates are likely to face opposition from millions of Americans, with a recent Gallup poll finding that about 52 percent of people favored employer vaccine mandates but 38 percent opposed, with 29 percent saying they were strongly opposed.

Katabella Roberts

Katabella Roberts

 1,204 Views

Mysterious Radio Signals From the Center of the Milky Way Detected

Epoch Times Photo
By Entrepreneur en Español

If something has become clear in recent years, it is that we are largely ignorant of what happens outside the Earth (also within it). Millionaires embody a battle to reach the Moon, Mars, and the ends of the galaxy, but there are countless unknowns. Such is the case with a mysterious new radio signals coming from the center of the Milky Way.

The technical name of the waves is ASKAP J173608.2-321635 . Scientists have not yet been able to know what it could be. The signal has been detected six times between January and September 2020, then reappeared until Feb. 7 of this year.

In a study on the finding, which has not yet been published in The Astrophysical Journal, but can be consulted on the arXiv server, the researchers explain that it is “a highly polarized, variable, and steep spectrum radio strong.”

“ASKAP J173608.2-321635 , could be part of a new class of objects that are being discovered through radio imaging studies,” the authors write.

How Did They Discover the Signs?

Thanks to the Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder (ASKAP), a radio telescope—a set of 36 antennas of 12 meters (39 feet) in diameter, which function as one and make it one of the most sensitive in the world. It is designed to analyze cosmic magnetism, identify black holes, and explore the origin of galaxies.

The signal is unknown, several types of stars have been ruled out. But it does share some properties with the Galactic Center Radio Transients (GCRT), another mysterious signal discovered in 2000, which is also emitted from the center of the Milky Way.

To find out what it is, researchers need to observe radio signals longer. In this way, certain patterns that have not been seen before could be established. “We will be able to understand how unique ASKAP J173608.2-321635 truly is and if it is related to the galactic plane, which should ultimately help us deduce its nature.”

Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur
Empowering People in the Business of Changing the World |
Entrepreneur® is dedicated to fueling the world’s visionary leaders compelled to make a difference through their innovative ideas, businesses, and points of view.

 1,105 Views

Biden Tells China’s Xi, That Both Nations Mustn’t ‘Veer Into Conflict’

President Joe Biden on Thursday held his second phone call with Chinese leader Xi Jinping since becoming U.S. president—the first call between the two leaders in seven months.

The White House in a short statement said the two leaders in their approximately 90-minute phone conversation had “a broad, strategic discussion,” including “areas where our interests converge, and areas where our interests, values, and perspectives diverge.”

“This discussion, as President Biden made clear, was part of the United States’ ongoing effort to responsibly manage the competition between the United States and the PRC [People’s Republic of China],” the statement added. “The two leaders discussed the responsibility of both nations to ensure competition does not veer into conflict.”

According to multiple reports which cited senior Biden administration officials, the call was initiated by Biden with the aim of setting “guardrails and parameters” in the U.S.-China relationship.

Beijing released a lengthy statement on the phone call, a contrast to the short statement from the White House. According to China’s state-run media Xinhua, Xi told Biden that it was United States’ recent policies on China that have “caused serious difficulties” for the bilateral ties. 

The Chinese statement also said Biden told Xi that the United States “has no intention of changing its one-China policy.” 

China’s hawkish state-run media Global Times has further twisted the Chinese statement to promote CCP propaganda. In a tweet, the outlet wrote Biden said the U.S. “has no intention of change its one-China principle.”

The United States has long held a “one-China policy,” which asserts that there is only one sovereign state with the name “China,” but it is different from the “one-China principle” under which the Chinese regime asserts sovereignty over Taiwan. The Taiwan government has also rejected China’s “one-China principle.” 

The Epoch Times has contacted the White House for comment.

The call comes at a moment when there is no shortage of thorny issues between the two nations, including cybersecurity breaches originating from China, Beijing’s handling of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic, and what the White House has labeled as “coercive and unfair” trade practices by Beijing.

The White House is hopeful the two sides can work together on issues of mutual concern—including climate change and preventing a nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula—despite growing differences.

Beijing, however, has pushed back against U.S. pressure and increasingly has suggested it could remain broadly uncooperative until Biden dials down criticism on what it deems Chinese internal matters.

The White House readout said the leaders during the call agreed to engage “openly and straightforwardly” on issues where the nations are at odds and where there is agreement.

“This discussion, as President Biden made clear, was part of the United States’ ongoing effort to responsibly manage the competition between the United States and the PRC,” the White House statement said. “President Biden underscored the United States’ enduring interest in peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and the world.”

Biden’s comments on the Indo-Pacific were conspicuously missing from the Chinese statement. Instead, Biden allegedly told Xi that the United States was willing to have “more candid exchanges and constructive dialogues” with China, and the United States will bring the Sino-U.S. relationship “back on track,” according to the Chinese statement.

Additionally, Biden also said the United States “looks forward to strengthening communication and cooperation with China” on climate change,” according to the Chinese statement.

Biden from the start of his presidency has sought to put greater focus on China, rallying allies to speak in a more unified voice about Beijing’s human rights record, its trade practices, and its military’s increasingly assertive behavior that has unnerved U.S. allies in the Pacific. He sees Beijing as the most significant economic competitor to the United States and a growing national security concern.

Frank Fang and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Isabel van Brugen

Isabel van Brugen
Reporter
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master’s in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.

 1,029 Views

RNC Announces Plans To Sue President Biden Over Vaccine Mandate

The Republican National Committee (RNC) on Sept. 10 announced it plans to sue President Joe Biden’s administration over its COVID-19 vaccine and testing mandate.

It comes just one day after the president issued sweeping new federal vaccine requirements that could affect as many as 100 million Americans and which the administrations hopes will curb the surging delta variant.

Taking to Twitter, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel announced, “Joe Biden told Americans when he was elected that he would not impose vaccine mandates. He lied. When his decree goes into effect, the RNC will sue the administration to protect Americans and their liberties.”

McDaniel also shared a press release announcing the RNC’s intent to sue the administration for what they called an “unconstitutional mandate.”

“Joe Biden told Americans when he was elected that he would not impose vaccine mandates. He lied. Now small businesses, workers, and families across the country will pay the price. Like many Americans, I am pro-vaccine and anti-mandate.

“Many small businesses and workers do not have the money or legal resources to fight Biden’s unconstitutional actions and authoritarian decrees, but when his decree goes into effect, the RNC will sue the administration to protect Americans and their liberties.”

On Thursday, President Biden signed a new executive order mandating that federal workers get a COVID-19 vaccine and removing the option for workers and contractors to choose not to get vaccinated.

Federal workers will have approximately 75 days to become fully vaccinated, however, there will be “limited exceptions for legally recognized reasons such as disability or religious objections,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington.

Those who fail to comply with the new order could face progressive disciplinary action, however, agencies are going to work with employees to ensure they understand the benefits of vaccination, and how the vaccines are free, easy, and widely accessible,” Psaki said.

Also on Thursday, Biden said he will direct the Department of Labor to develop a rule that companies with more than 100 employees will require vaccinations or once-per-week testing for their workers, potentially affecting tens of millions of U.S. private-sector employees and health care workers.

The administration’s rule will require that “all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work,”which will affect more than 80 million workers in the private sector.

Epoch Times Photo
Vaccine proof requirement note displays at a restaurant store front in New York on September 7, 2021. (Chung I Ho/The Epoch Times)

During remarks on Sept. 9, Biden didn’t hold back from pointing the finger at the 80 million people who haven’t yet been vaccinated, saying, “We’ve been patient. “But our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us.”

The president went on to claim that unvaccinated people are “crowding our hospitals” and said vaccines provide protection against COVID-19 hospitalizations.

“We’re in a tough stretch,” he added. “This is not about freedom or personal choice.”

Biden previously mandated COVID-19 vaccination, but allowed workers who did not want it to remain unvaccinated, so long as they abided by strict protocols such as social distancing, wearing masks and getting regularly tested for the virus.

The new orders are part of Biden’s “six-pronged, comprehensive national strategy that employs the same science-based approach that was used to successfully combat previous variants of COVID-19 earlier this year,” according to The White House.

“This plan will ensure that we are using every available tool to combat COVID-19 and save even more lives in the months ahead, while also keeping schools open and safe, and protecting our economy from lockdowns and damage.”

The latest mandates are likely to face opposition from millions of Americans, with a recent Gallup poll finding that about 52 percent of people favored employer vaccine mandates but 38 percent opposed, with 29 percent saying they were strongly opposed.

Katabella Roberts

Katabella Roberts

 894 Views

Biden Plans COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for 80 Million Private-Sector Workers

President Joe Biden will direct the Department of Labor to develop a rule that companies with more than 100 employees will require vaccinations or once-per-week testing for their workers, potentially affecting tens of millions of U.S. private-sector employees, according to the White House.

The administration’s rule will require that “all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work,” which will affect more than 80 million workers in the private sector.

During remarks on Sept. 9, Biden said that the United States “can and will turn the tide” against COVID-19 by mass vaccinations, while casting blame “at the 80 million” people who haven’t been vaccinated. “We’re in a tough stretch,” he said. “This is not about freedom or personal choice” but is about protection against COVID-19.

The president further claimed the “unvaccinated” are “crowding our hospitals” and said vaccines provide protection against COVID-19 hospitalizations.

The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will issue an Emergency Temporary Standard to implement the requirement, the White House document stated. It didn’t mention religious exemptions or individuals whose doctors have recommended against getting COVID-19 shots.

Biden will sign an executive order requiring most federal employees and contractors to get a COVID-19 vaccine without the option of getting regular testing, according to the document. Federal workers unions suggested on Sept. 9 that they would accept the vaccine mandate. It isn’t clear if the U.S. Postal Service will be under the new mandate.

“As part of this effort, the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Indian Health Service, and the National Institute of Health will complete implementation of their previously announced vaccination requirements that cover 2.5 million people,” the document states.

Epoch Times Photo
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks to reporters in Washington on Aug. 24, 2021. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

COVID-19 is the illness caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

The new measures are being unveiled as part of a more aggressive attempt to push for vaccination.

Such mandates will likely create more opposition. A recent Gallup poll found that about 52 percent favored employer vaccine mandates but 38 percent opposed, with 29 percent saying they were strongly opposed.

A number of unions also have issued statements in recent weeks saying they are opposed to vaccine mandates, including some hospital workers unions, firefighters unions, and police unions.

Some other unions have voiced opposition to vaccine mandates. Hospital workers with Service Employee International Union 1199 held a rally in July to oppose a mandate imposed by New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. Firefighter and police unions from Chicago to Newark, New Jersey, are also opposing mandates.

The plan has received widespread criticism from Republicans and conservatives who said that it’s tantamount to federal overreach.

“My legal team is standing by ready to file our lawsuit the minute [Biden] files his unconstitutional rule. This gross example of federal intrusion will not stand,” South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem wrote on Twitter.

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) wrote that he’ll introduce a measure to block what he called an “egregious assault on Americans’ freedom and liberty,” adding that “we must fight against these attempts to force vaccine mandates on the American people.”

Under the plan, the administration would also require vaccinations for some 17 million health care workers at hospitals and other institutions that participate in Medicaid and Medicare programs, or for programs serving disabled and older Americans.

Biden also will use the federal government’s authority under the Defense Production Act to spur companies to produce COVID-19 tests, which will then be sold at large retailers around the country.

Meanwhile, the plan is also calling on entertainment venues such as arenas, concert halls, and others to mandate vaccine passports or show a negative test to enter.

“Our overarching objective here is to reduce the number of unvaccinated Americans,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Sept. 9. “We want to reduce that number, decrease hospitalizations and deaths, and allow our children to go to school safely.”

The White House also plans to offer booster shots for “fully vaccinated” individuals and has a goal of Sept. 20 to begin rolling them out. The World Health Organization and other groups have said that with limited global vaccine supplies and production, wealthier countries need to issue a moratorium on boosters until more people are vaccinated around the world.

According to the White House fact sheet, the administration also will continue to mandate masks on federal property and aboard public transportation.

Previously, the White House stated that the federal government can’t mandate vaccines nationwide, but it has pressured school districts, businesses, and other entities to require shots.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Jack Phillips

Jack Phillips
Senior Reporter
Jack Phillips is a reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.

 1,020 Views

19 Governors, 2 AGs Immediately Resist Biden’s Vaccine Mandates

More than a dozen governors and two attorney generals late Thursday issued statements defying the Biden administration’s impending vaccine mandates for federal workers and private-sector workers.

President Joe Biden earlier in the day signed an executive order to require all federal workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus. There would be no option to opt out via COVID-19 testing. The mandate also applies to government contractors and their employees.

The president later announced he would direct the Department of Labor to create a rule to have companies with over 100 employees mandate vaccinations or weekly testing, a move that impacts more than 80 million workers in the private sector.

At least 19 governors and two attorney generals immediately issued statements disagreeing with the administration’s move, with several vowing to defy it.

They include the governors of Arizona, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming.

They were joined by at least two state attorneys general as of Thursday night—Sean D. Reyes from Utah and Todd Rokita from Indiana.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, the chair of the National Governors Association, said in a statement, “I fully support continued efforts to increase vaccination rates across our nation, but the federal government mandates on private businesses are not the right answer.

“I have been consistent in freedom of businesses to require their employees to be vaccinated, and I have opposed the government from saying businesses cannot exercise that freedom,” he added. “The same principle should protect the private sector from government overreach that requires them to vaccinate all employees.”

Multiple Republican governors, including for Arizona, Georgia, and South Dakota, hinted or announced that they would seek legal avenues to resist the mandates.

“The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective tools to prevent the disease, but getting the vaccine is and should be a choice,” Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said in a statement. “These mandates are outrageous. They will never stand up in court. We must and will push back.”

“I will pursue every legal option available to the state of Georgia to stop this blatantly unlawful overreach by the Biden administration,” Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said on Twitter.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem issued a statement on Twitter, saying, “South Dakota will stand up to defend freedom. @JoeBiden see you in court.” She later shared another Twitter post saying that her legal team is prepared to stand up to the Biden administration’s mandates.

Epoch Times Photo
A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine during the opening of the MTA’s public vaccination program at Grand Central Terminal train station in Manhattan in New York City on May 12, 2021. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

The Biden administration did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Biden earlier in the day commented on the issue of vaccine mandates, including in schools, saying, “if these governors won’t help us beat the pandemic, I’ll use my power as President to get them out of the way.”

Statements from the remaining governors and attorneys general as of late Thursday are as below:

  • Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (in part): “I support the science and encourage folks taking the vaccine. However, I am absolutely against a government mandate on the vaccine, which is why I signed the vaccine passport ban into law here in Alabama. This is not the role of the government.”
  • Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy: “This is ridiculous and unenforceable. If there was ever a case for the 25th Amendment…”
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (at a press conference): “I do not believe that people should lose their jobs over this issue, and we will fight that. If they try to do that through a rule like the Department of Labor, I don’t think they have the legal authority to do that, but we obviously would want to support protections for people who are just trying to earn a living.”
  • Idaho Gov. Brad Little: “Today’s actions from President Biden amount to government overreach. Government should stay out of decisions involving employers and their employees as much as possible. I’ve advocated for and championed fewer government regulations and mandates on business.”
  • Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds: “President Biden is taking dangerous and unprecedented steps to insert the federal government even further into our lives while dismissing the ability of Iowans and Americans to make healthcare decisions for themselves. Biden’s plan will only worsen our workforce shortage and further limit our economic recovery. As I’ve said all along, I believe and trust in Iowans to make the best health decisions for themselves and their families. It’s time for President Biden to do the same. Enough is enough.”
  • Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (in part): “Vaccination protects us from serious illness, but the decision to get vaccinated is a private health care decision that should remain as such. My administration will always fight back against federal power grabs and government overreach that threatens to limit our freedoms.”
  • Mississippi Gov. Mike Reeves: “The President has no authority to require that Americans inject themselves because of their employment at a private business. The vaccine itself is life-saving, but this unconstitutional move is terrifying. This is still America, and we still believe in freedom from tyrants.”
  • Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte: “President Biden’s vaccination mandate is unlawful and un-American. We are committed to protecting Montanans’ freedoms and liberties against this gross federal overreach.”
  • Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts: “President Biden’s announcement is a stunning violation of personal freedom and abuse of the federal government’s power. This plan isn’t about public health—this is about government control and taking away personal liberties.”
  • North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum: “President Biden’s misguided plan steers our country down a dangerous path away from states’ rights and the freedom of private businesses to make their own decisions on vaccinations. We stand opposed to this blatant federal overreach.”
  • Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt: “It is not the government’s role to dictate to private businesses what to do. Once again President Biden is demonstrating his complete disregard for individual freedoms and states’ rights. As long as I am governor, there will be no government vaccine mandates in Oklahoma. My administration will continue to defend Oklahoma values and fight back against the Biden administration’s federal overreach.”
  • South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster: “The American Dream has turned into a nightmare under President Biden and the radical Democrats. They have declared war against capitalism, thumbed their noses at the Constitution, and empowered our enemies abroad.”
  • Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee: “‘This is not about freedom’ is a phrase that should never come out of a U.S. President’s mouth. For a fight that requires working together, a lot of cynical and divisive edicts came out of the White House today pitting the vaccinated against the unvaccinated, businesses against employees, and the federal government against states.”
  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott: “Biden’s vaccine mandate is an assault on private businesses. I issued an Executive Order protecting Texans’ right to choose whether they get the COVID vaccine & added it to the special session agenda. Texas is already working to halt this power grab.”
  • Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon (in part): “I have asked the Attorney General to stand prepared to take all actions to oppose this administration’s unconstitutional overreach of executive power. It has no place in America. Not now, and not ever.”
Mimi Nguyen Ly

Mimi Nguyen Ly
Reporter
Mimi Nguyen Ly is a reporter based in Australia. She covers world news with a focus on U.S. news. Contact her at mimi.nl@epochtimes.com.

 1,389 Views