DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Friday about the federal vaccine mandate. An organization that serves Miami Valley businesses said the mandate will affect already struggling local businesses.
The Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Chris Kershner said if the mandate goes through, it will have a significant impact on businesses.
“COVID-19 has already become a burdensome operations nightmare for a lot of businesses, and when federal mandates keep coming out that are putting more and more pressure on businesses, they are getting to a tipping point,” Kershner said.
The chamber of commerce serves more than 2,200 businesses in the Miami Valley, Kershner said requiring vaccines for all employers with over 100 workers will affect a significant number of them.
Kershner said it will cause employers greater workforce challenges than they already face right now.
“Which is going to mean there’s longer lines at restaurants, and businesses are having a harder time completing their daily tasks because that workforce problem is only going to get worse,” Kershner said.
Ohio is joining more than two dozen states challenging the Biden administration’s vaccine-or-testing mandate.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost held a press conference Friday after Ohio Solicitor General Benjamin Flowers argued in the Supreme Court against the mandate.
Yost said the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not have the authority to enforce it, rather that power should be left to the state or local governments.
“Once you give a bureaucrat the power, the vast power to implement these kinds of mandates through the OSHA law, you’ll never close that door,” Yost said.
Both Yost and Kershner said they are not against the COVID-19 vaccine, but it should be left up to the individual or employer.
“If somebody elects not to, and they get sick or die, that is not my fault, that is a consequence of their choice to fail to protect themselves, which is why I urge everybody to get the vaccine,” Yost said.
The Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce has been speaking out against the mandate since it was announced, and is now hoping the Supreme Court will end it for good.
“There has to be some relief here for businesses,” Kershner said.