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Vivek Murthy. Photo: Samuel Corum/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy took to ABC's "This Week" on Sunday to defend the Biden administration's plan to institute a vaccine mandate for companies with more than 100 workers, calling the measure "appropriate and necessary," and adding that the administration is prepared to fight legal challenges to implementation.

Why it matters: The vaccine mandate is already facing a plethora of such legal hurdles. A three-judge panel on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Saturday stayed enforcement of the private-employer vaccine mandate in an unsigned order that cited “grave statutory and constitutional issues.”

  • In addition, more than 15 states across the country have filed lawsuits against the Biden administration over the vaccine mandate.

State of play: Last week, the administration announced that employers with more than 100 employees must ensure their workers are fully vaccinated or tested weekly by Jan. 4 or face federal fines starting at nearly $14,000 per violation.

What they're saying: "The president and the administration wouldn't have put these requirements in place if they didn’t think that they were appropriate and necessary, and the administration is certainly prepared to defend them," Murthy said.

  • Murthy added that vaccine mandates to protect the population have a long historical precedence.
  • "It's important we take every measure possible to make our workplaces safer," he added. "It's good for people's health, it's good for the economy, and that's why these requirements make so much sense."

Go deeper

Judge temporarily blocks Biden vaccine mandate for federal contractors

Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked President Biden's vaccine mandate for federal contractors nationwide.

Why it matters: It's the latest setback in the Biden administration's rollout of COVID-19 vaccine requirements. Federal judges in two states temporarily barred the administration from enforcing mandates for millions of workers last week.

Dec 7, 2021 - Health

Report: COVID exacerbated young people's "unprecedented" mental health challenges

Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy speaks during a press briefing in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. on July 15. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. surgeon general warned on Tuesday young people face "unprecedented" mental health challenges — and the pandemic has only made matters worse.

Why it matters: Depression, suicidal ideation and emergency room visits for mental health reasons have risen significantly in young people, according to the 53-page advisory from the country's top physician, Dr. Vivek H. Murthy.

JPMorgan: "Full global recovery" in 2022

Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

JPMorgan Chase Global Research says in a forecast to clients: "2022 will be the year of a full global recovery, an end of the global pandemic, and a return to normal conditions we had prior to the COVID-19 outbreak."

The big picture: The bullish report sees "a return of global mobility, and a release of pent-up demand from consumers (e.g. travel, services)."

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