The White House has decided not to issue an emergency safety standard for COVID-19 that would apply to most workers, bailing on a broad rule that seemed all but certain to be put in place once President Joe Biden took office.
Instead, the administration is moving ahead with a more tailored rule designed with only health care workers in mind. The move is drawing sharp criticism from safety advocates who say the president is abandoning a campaign pledge.
After his inauguration, Biden directed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is part of the Labor Department, to consider developing an enforceable regulation that employers would have to follow to keep workers safe from the virus. The emergency regulation was supposed to be adopted in March if officials found it worthwhile.
But the administration blew past that deadline as the pace of coronavirus vaccinations picked up, putting the idea of a rule in limbo.
Then, in May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention...read more...