Top Three Takeaways For October 15th, 2021

President Biden Provides Update On Covid-19 Response

Photo: Getty Images

Not Backing Down. 

By my estimates, 750,000 of Florida's total workforce are currently in the crosshairs of President Biden’s vaccine mandate. Meaning that they work for an employer which would be subjected to a newly adopted rule by OSHA which would force private sector employers with 100 or more employees to demand proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or risk being fired. On Wednesday, the Labor Department said it submitted the text of the proposed rule to the Office of Management and Budget for final review, a process that typically concludes within two weeks. This means we’re getting down to crunch time and the window of rhetorical arguments and threats is coming to a close. 

Yes, it appears the new rule will allow an option for regular COVID-19 testing as an alternative to vaccination proof. However, that may not prove to be an effective option for many. The tests would have to be paid for and monitored by someone. How many employers intend to dedicate resources and people to accommodate that option? The bottom line is this, if in two weeks we’re talking about the potential for 9% of Florida’s workforce being wiped out, the consequences would be devastating.

On Thursday Governor DeSantis said, "We’re really concerned about these forced vaccine mandates on the workforce. The fact of the matter is, you take in medical with nurses, a fraction of them decide that this is not something they want to do and leave, it will absolutely cause a lot of these health systems to hemorrhage, and then you look at all these other companies that do it and so, I know Biden is trying to force this on everybody. One, I think it’s your choice. I don’t think you should get fired over this issue, and we want to protect people’s jobs, but two, it is absolutely is going to have a negative impact on the economy." Yes, to all of that. The state has pledged to sue the Biden administration over the rule as soon as it hits and it’s clear DeSantis isn’t backing down. It could be the difference between Florida continuing to pace the country in economic growth vs seeing the peak unemployment levels experienced during the initial weeks of the lockdown last year. 

Wanna bet

No, not sports betting. Despite today being the day sports betting is legalized in our state, there’s not any of it that’s currently available as legal challenges have clouded the outlook for the plan ratified in the new Seminole Compact. Instead, it’s possible the Seminoles may soon offer sports betting onsite at their properties, but that’s still to be determined and nothing’s changing today. Instead, Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation is proposing the state legislature spend $25 million to fund the Florida Gaming Control Commission. Like sports betting, the commission was something enabled by the state legislature in this year’s session but that hasn’t yet commenced. The dollar figure is easily justified as the state is promised $500 million per year in new revenue from the Seminoles over the newly ratified compact, regardless of the status of sports betting in the state. Funding the commission and officially having a government agency dedicated to regulating gambling across the state is a bet that Floridians are set to soon be placing many more bets. Perhaps some of which may one day include sporting events.

Any questions?

Another day. Another seven minutes of proven work by President Biden. Another day of a supply chain crisis he’s blaming on the private sector as opposed to his failed policies. Another day of the highest inflation since the age of Jimmy Carter. Another day he refused to take any questions. Any questions?

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