The American Intelligence community is facing a potentially catastrophic labor crisis in the near future as thousands of agents from American intelligence agencies could be laid off in the next months due to Biden’s vaccine mandate, according to reports made by intelligence officers and republican lawmakers quoted by an Associated Press article.
Republican representatives Chris Stewart (R-UT) said that at least 20% of the manpower of many intelligence agencies is at risk of being fired due to their vaccination status, as they were unvaccinated up to late October. The Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), William Burns said that the CIA and the agency in charge of operating America’s spy satellites have vaccine rates of over 90%. However, Stewart countered saying that there are many other agencies that have far lower vaccination rates, with some having as much as 40% of their workforce unvaccinated.
This potential staffing crisis at America’s intelligence agencies has raised the alarms for many conservative politicians, with Stewart questioning the wisdom of laying off highly qualified staff from agencies that are critical for national security due to their vaccination status. Stewart noted that these type of positions require highly qualified staff, saying that “You’re potentially firing thousands of people on the same day. And it’s not like you put an ad on Craigslist and have people apply by Thursday.”
Democrats have said these fears are overblown and that the American intelligence community would not have its job impaired due to the mandate. Representative Jason Crow (D-CO) said that the intelligence agencies were doing “quite well” on the vaccination front, while also saying that “If somebody is not willing to do what’s necessary to protect their own health and the health of their unit, that actually calls into question their ability to effectively do the job”.
Biden’s vaccine mandate has received stiff resistance
The Biden administration issued its vaccine mandate back on September 9th, mandating every business that has over 100 employees to request their labor force to be either fully vaccinated or being tested every week, a measure that would potentially affect 100 million Americans. As of today, almost 70% of Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while almost 60% are already fully vaccinated.
Yesterday, the Administration released the full details of its measure, saying that the Department of Labor’s Department on Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) would also require businesses to provide full paid-time for employees to get vaccinated while also requiring unvaccinated employees to always wear mask indoors. The order also detailed that all federal contractors would have to have all of their workforces fully vaccinated by January 4th, 2022.
The issue of vaccine mandates, which President Biden promised he would not implement at the beginning of his presidency before reversing a few months ago, has become a very complicated issue for the Biden administration, with many workers resisting the mandates both in public and private businesses. First responder workers (like police officers, paramedics, etc.) , which are mostly unionized, have been among the most resistant to these mandates.
Not only have public employees have been resistant to the mandates, as unionized workers of private companies like Southwest have also legally challenged the administration’s mandate legality. Even some business owners have declared their unease with the measure, as the mandates threatened to diminish the already tight supply of labor for many businesses who are struggling to hire new workers.
Conservatives have also contested the measure, with many calling it unconstitutional. Recently, the conservative media outlet The Daily Wire, filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration mandate, saying it is unconstitutional. Most recently Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has become a conservative rising star, announced that the state of Florida would also filed a lawsuit against the federal government’s employee vaccine mandate, while also submitting another legal challenge to the Biden’s vaccine requirement for Medicare and Medicaid workers.