Jan 16, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Vivek Murthy calls SCOTUS vaccine mandate block "a setback for public health"

Photo: Oliver Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Photo: Oliver Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday the Supreme Court's decision to block the Biden administration's coronavirus vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers was "a setback for public health."

The big picture: Murthy said the mandate was necessary and appropriate, adding that such measures "help create a safer environment for health care workers as well as for patients."

Driving the news: The court on Thursday blocked the vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers. Individual employers are still legally allowed to implement such measures.

What he's saying: "The news about the workplace requirement being blocked was very disappointing," Murthy told host Martha Raddatz.

  • "It was a setback for public health, because what these requirements ultimately are helpful for is not just protecting the community at large, but making our workplaces safer for workers as well as for customers," he added.
  • Murthy said the administration is "strongly encouraging companies to put these requirements in place voluntarily, and in a health care setting, that ruling was upheld."
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