Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy revealed Sunday the Biden administration will police exemptions to President Joe Biden's COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
What is the background?
Biden announced last Thursday a sweeping vaccine mandate that requires businesses employing more than 100 people to require their workers to get vaccinated or force them to submit to regular COVID-19 testing.
Federal workers, however, will no longer have the option of testing, nor do health care workers who work in facilities that accept Medicaid or Medicare money.
The mandate was issued through a legally questionable statute via the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. As TheBlaze reported, members of Congress, their staffs, and all employees of the legislative and judicial branches are exempt from the mandate because Biden is implementing it via executive order.
What did Murthy say?
Speaking on CNN's "State of the Union," Murthy said the Biden administration would "monitor" exemptions to the mandate, which will be granted only on religious or medical grounds.
CNN host Dana Bash had asked Murthy whether the Biden administration was concerned whether "people will abuse those exemptions in order to avoid getting the vaccine."
After noting vaccine requirements for attending public school, for example, Murthy said, "So, fortunately, as a country, we have experience in dealing with exemptions, but we have got to be vigilant there and make sure that people are using them in the spirit that they're intended, and not abusing them or asking for exemptions when they don't apply."
"That will be an area that we continue to monitor in the days and weeks ahead," Murthy added.
Across various interviews on Sunday talk shows, Murthy defended the vaccine mandate and insisted the Biden administration holds sufficient legal authority to enforce it.
Abuse of exemptions, however, will be the least of the Biden administration's worries.
Not only is the mandate going to be challenged in court, but Republican governors and business leaders have vocalized their opposition to the mandate and have threatened to sue Biden.
Biden was asked about the legal threats on Friday, to which he replied, "Have at it."