President Joe Biden ran on a promise to be a unifier and a moderate. He promised to bring America together. On the campaign trail, he pledged to "shut down the virus, not the country." It was all a lie.
Biden’s latest vaccine mandate for private companies tramples on the personal freedoms of Americans, will push more workers out of the workforce, devastate our economy with product and service shortages that cripple supply chains and throw America into a stagflation crisis not seen since the 1970’s.
By forcing some working Americans to choose between keeping their jobs, or doing what they believe is best for their health, Biden’s mandate hurts the very people they claim it will help – workers, low-income Americans and seniors on a fixed income who will all either be hit with higher unemployment, higher prices or a shortage of available goods.
Joe Biden and Democrats in Washington have unapologetically adopted an agenda of systemic socialism focused on massive expansions of government and federal control over the daily lives of Americans. In Joe Biden’s America, the government knows better than the people it supposedly serves and continues to issue mandates to keep the public in line.
When I think about the impact of burdensome government regulations, I think about my dad. My adopted father was a truck driver. Anyone who has driven trucks or been close to someone in that line of work knows how demanding the job can be. It’s hard work and it’s one of the most critical jobs in our country.
Truck drivers are like the offensive linemen of America’s supply chain – often overlooked but absolutely essential to get things moving. There is already a driver shortage in this country and we can’t afford to lose any more.
Of course, trucking is just one industry where Biden’s unconstitutional vaccine mandate will cause massive problems. Biden’s mandate is putting workers in nearly every sector under the gun.
In a weak economy where simply keeping shelves stocked is an everyday challenge, losing workers in almost any critical industry will have catastrophic impacts across our supply chains and drive prices higher.
We can never forget that as inflation worsens and prices surge higher, it’s the poorest Americans, like my family growing up and seniors on fixed income, that are hurt the most. Right now, we already have families across America having to make hard choices. There’s single moms wondering if they can put an extra few gallons of gas in the car and still afford to put dinner on the table this week. Or, a mom like mine who took on odd jobs to make ends meet and watched the smallest price changes at the grocery store to make sure we could still get by.
If President Biden actually talked with small and mid-size employers and hardworking families, like I have, he’d quickly learn that massive federal mandates aren’t the solution to any of our problems. I got the vaccine and I encourage others to talk with their doctor and consider doing the same. But getting the vaccine is a choice everyone gets to make for themselves.
We can’t give people an ultimatum to comply or quit. It’s a gross overreach by the federal government at a time when we need more jobs, not less; lower prices on everyday goods, not higher.
Unlike Joe Biden and Democrats in Washington, I don’t believe that government knows better than the American people. My parents didn’t have much of a formal education, but they worked hard and made the choices they felt were right for the health and wellbeing of our family. They relied on government to keep them informed and then let them make their own choices. That’s how government should work and what I did when I was Governor of Florida.
In 2016, Florida was faced with the Zika virus, which impacted newborns. Rather than placing mandates on pregnant women or restricting their travel to areas with local transmission of Zika, we simply informed Floridians, worked to be as transparent as possible and offered free Zika testing to all pregnant women in Florida.
That’s how the federal government should deal with COVID. Government’s role in public health is to inform and support, not mandate.
With employment issues lingering due to the Democrats’ failed policies of paying people more to stay at home than go back to work, energy prices surging and inflation raging, American families cannot afford President Biden’s continued bad policy decisions that are inflicting lasting damage and driving the economy backward.
Restoring our supply chains is critical to getting the American economy rolling again and it’s time for President Biden to acknowledge massive unconstitutional mandates on private companies won’t do anything but hurt American business and throw gasoline on the already raging inflation crisis he has created.
Republican Rick Scott represents Florida in the United States Senate. He is the former Governor of Florida.