Mixed reaction from Bay Area residents, following Biden's new vaccine rules
Updated: Feb 23, 2022
Amanda del Castillo, ABC 7 News | September 10, 2021
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- In an all-out effort to get more Americans vaccinated, President Joe Biden announced a strict, multi-step action plan on Thursday.
Among the changes, he called for a vaccine mandate for large businesses with 100 or more workers, or weekly tests. These orders would impact about 80 million Americans.
Around the Bay Area, ABC7 News found mixed reaction.
San Jose resident Christie J. said, "I think it's critical to our economy to get people back to work in a safe manner, and this is the best way to do it."
Christie is a registered nurse who has been on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19.
"There's certain parameters that might require that. But not every business over 100 people," San Jose resident Tony Pallat shared. "What if the hundred employees - what if they're all gardeners? And they're outside?"
San Francisco resident Salvador Villafana told ABC7 News, "You, as a person doing your own part, just helped hundreds of other people who may not have to get sick or could just kind of continue to keep working and providing for their own families."
President Biden stressed that it comes down to protecting yourself and those around you.
"What more is there to wait for," the president said in his Thursday address. "What more do you need to see?"
The founder of RedBalloon.work, a job board for businesses without vaccination requirements, calls the move unconstitutional.
Andrew Crapuchettes launched RedBalloon.work about a month ago. The Bay Area native explained it's a job board, based on the premise of freedom.
"Freedom for employers who want to be able to hire people, not based on their political standing or based on their identity politics, but based on their ability to just get work done," he said.
Reacting to the president's announcement, Crapuchettes pointed out that whether there are legitimate concerns, people will now be faced with losing their job and livelihood.
"I want to see employers who are willing to stand up and say, 'You know what, I'm willing to hire the best kind of employee who's willing to make the right decision for themselves, and not be coerced into a decision that they might not feel comfortable with,'" he elaborated.
"I'm not trying to land on one side of the vaccine debate or the other," Crapuchettes told ABC7 News. "I'm just saying that freedom is really important in America. And if we can have employers who are willing to say, 'I'm going to hire someone, regardless of their vaccination status,' that's the kind of employer that a lot of these employees- tens-of-thousands of them are looking for today."
New rules will ultimately impact federal workers, health care staff and employers with 100-or more employees.
While San Jose resident Bob J. said he agrees with the move, he has concerns over mandates.
"As much as I think people should get vaccinated, as much as you want to them to be vaccinated, you really just have to think about what happens if the situation is turned," Bob reflected. "And you suddenly have a leader that you don't agree with, and he starts mandating things that you think are not appropriate."
Rules for large businesses are being developed by OSHA, and are expected to carry a $14,000 penalty per violation.