President Biden’s vaccine mandate could also apply to SWOSU

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U.S. President Joe Biden.

Johannes Becht, News Editor

Some call it forceful action, some call it dictatorship: U.S. President Joe Biden (D) on Thursday announced a federal vaccine mandate. This new rule states that all workers in businesses with 100 or more employees have to be either vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to weekly testing. Southwestern Oklahoma State University is now in the process of determining if that new rule applies to the university as well.

In addition to businesses with 100+ workers, employees at health care facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid will have to be fully vaccinated, as well as employees of the executive branch and contractors who do business with the federal government, without any option to test out.

This action affects around 100 million Americans.

In his statement, Biden heavily criticized all those Americans who have not yet received a COVID shot:

“We’ve been patient. But our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us,” he said. The unvaccinated minority “can cause a lot of damage, and they are.”

Gov. Henry McMaster of South Carolina (R) said that “Biden and the radical Democrats … have declared war against capitalism (and) thumbed their noses at the Constitution.”

Several states have already announced lawsuits against the new mandate, and it is expected that the matter will eventually be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

What does the mandate mean for SWOSU?

SWOSU has more than 100 employees. Universities across the nation are now in the process of figuring out if the rules apply to them.

Brian Adler, vice president of public relations & marketing at SWOSU, said: “I will check, but I’m almost positive that no decisions have been made because the university could fall under some different rules. We will send something out when all of this has been determined.”

According to the Weatherford Daily News, SWOSU officials said the university is consulting with its attorneys.

More than 800 colleges and universities across the country have already adopted campus-wide vaccine mandates, some even for those students learning remotely. In an interview with The Southwestern in August, SWOSU President Dr. Diane Lovell said that a vaccine mandate “has never been an option.”