Biden’s announcement of his plan to finally end the pandemic via a series of dubious mandates lacked an essential ingredient: some description of an end state. It also included something that should never have been in it — a statement of open hostility to millions of Americans it is aiming to mollify and persuade.
The best data we have shows that many unvaccinated people are persuadable — but probably not persuadable by announcing that you are going back on your word about mandates, and you want the federal government to use employers to accomplish the task. Once you say that the vaccine reduces your chances of hospitalization to one in 160,000, you cannot rationally say that you are breaking your former promises to “protect” the vaccinated from the unvaccinated. You’ve already argued they are protected.
I’m sure it was cathartic to announce this, and perhaps the White House has a plan for defending it in the courts or turning it to political advantage when courts reject it. But, this is legally dubious and bullying, and it will lead to a massive backlash. I don’t know if we’ll see the kinds of protests that have rocked France and other European countries on this matter, but we may.