AMA warns of severe and irreparable harm if Biden vaccine mandate is halted | TheHill
The American Medical Association (AMA) warned that stopping the Biden administration's coronavirus vaccine or testing requirements for private businesses would "severely and irreparably harm the public interest."
In a filing with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, the AMA said COVID-19 presents a "grave danger to the public" that "wreaked havoc in communities across the country." The association said it submitted the friend of the court brief because it has "an interest in providing evidence-based guidance on public health issues."
Specifically, the doctor's association noted that COVID-19 transmissions in the workplace were a large part of the virus's spread in a variety of industries.
"The more workers who get vaccinated, the closer we are to slowing the spread of the virus and creating a safer environment," the AMA said.
The filing also called vaccine requirements a "critical" part of bringing the pandemic to an end, referencing previous vaccine mandates for illnesses like measles and smallpox.
"Other mitigation measures, such as mask wearing and social distancing, remain important," the brief also said. "They do not, however, provide the same level of protection against COVID-19 as does vaccination."
The rule for which the AMA is advocating, issued by the Occupational, Safety and Health Administration, requires businesses with at least 100 employees to institute a requirement that workers either be vaccinated against the coronavirus or tested weekly. Unvaccinated employees would need to wear masks indoors starting Dec. 5, and then undergo weekly testing if they remain unvaccinated by Jan. 4.
The rule sparked immediate lawsuits and a federal appeals court upheld its own stay of the rule. All the various legal challenges have now been consolidated into a single lawsuit in a new court.
Last week, dozens of health groups, including the AMA, encouraged businesses to voluntarily implement the Biden administration's coronavirus vaccine-or-test policies to ensure the safety of workers and customers during the holiday season.