But what makes sense and what is realistic in today’s political climate are two different things. The politicization of this medical problem and the snail pace of the legal system mean Biden’s mandates are unlikely to be fully enforceable anytime soon. And the Conservatives will likely continue to demonize the very notion of federally required health measures as intrusions into personal choice.
This argument fades, however, when companies themselves decide to impose demands on their employees to protect both their workforce and their customers. The efforts of so-called conservatives like the governors. Ron DeSantis from Florida or Greg Abbott of Texas to ban companies from requiring vaccination of employees only underscores how hypocritical and cowardly some politicians have become. There is nothing conservative about handcuffing the pandemic policy choices of private companies like this.
Kroger’s employee incentives for vaccination – and, soon, disincentives for the unvaccinated – are a more nuanced approach than federal mandates, and more difficult to argue with. Even among those who believe that employees have a fundamental right to endanger their colleagues by refusing vaccination, how many are likely to argue that they should also be given additional paid leave, at the expense of their employer, to recover of this preventable disease if and when they get it?