NBC News: Biden should "name and shame" employers, encourage snitches

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

When I received an email alert about this recent article from NBC News by Heidi Przybyla and Laura Strickler, the teaser included the phrase, “Biden should name and shame employers,” speaking of those who are found to not be in compliance with his vaccine mandates for the private sector. The actual title turned out to be, “As Biden’s vaccinate-or-test mandate approaches, questions arise over enforcement.” But when you dig down deeper into the article, the “name and shame” quote still shows up.

So what are the authors talking about? If you haven’t guessed by now, it’s a suggestion that the Biden administration will have trouble enforcing its vaccination mandate on the countless private sector businesses that will be impacted. One estimate suggests that it would take the current OSHA enforcement staff 160 years to visit every employer in the country with more than 100 employees and determine whether or not they were firing anyone who wasn’t vaccinated or (in some cases) recently tested for COVID. How does the crew at NBC suggest that Joe Biden get around this problem? By using the power of both the mainstream media and social media, with the help of willing snitches inside of these companies, to publicly identify them, hit them heavily with fines, etc., and enlist journalists to cover the stories broadly so others will be too frightened to refuse to comply.

If businesses don’t abide by the regulation, OSHA will “have a lot of levers,” [former OSHA Director David] Michaels said. “They can impose heavy fines, publicize to workers that they can complain if their employer is not complying, and they can do spot inspections.”

If a business is making a good-faith effort, Berkowitz said she expects OSHA will not force the issue with a fine.

But a key aspect of enforcing this requirement, differentiating it from some other OSHA regulations, will be the reaction of employees at risk of catching Covid in the workplace, who will serve as a force multiplier, experts say.

“The vast majority of employees want everybody to be vaccinated,” said Lawrence Gostin, a professor of public health at Johns Hopkins University. “It’s only a small but vocal minority who don’t. What you have to do is capture the attention of the silent majority and have them blow the whistle on any employer.”

I would first note the rather remarkable nature (okay… perhaps not all that remarkable these days) of an ostensibly “newsy” article at NBC News, as opposed to an op-ed piece, so wholeheartedly endorsing this idea. But that seems to be the world we live in today. The President has issued a sweeping mandate that doesn’t just apply to employees of the federal government, but to the vast majority of private-sector employers and employees in the nation. It’s a mandate that infringes on the privacy of employees in terms of their health records and the way employers choose to organize and operate their businesses. The massive mandate is far too large for the government to police, so our mainstream media overlords are endorsing a way to set up a private-sector Gestapo who will be able to drop a dime on their employer if they don’t toe the line.

Once the dime has been dropped, even if they can’t possibly enforce the rule evenly on their own, they would like the government to impose oppressive, crushing penalties on the employers. This wouldn’t be done to ensure compliance by the company found to be violating a workplace rule, but to instill fear in the hearts of all other employers. And they want to lionize the snitches who don’t care about the privacy rights of their co-workers.

Here’s how Mr. Michaels describes it.

“Encouraging whistleblowing is an extraordinarily important part of it,” he said, adding that OSHA “doesn’t have to set foot inside most employers.”

You don’t even need to make the government do its own job if you have enough snitches. You just need to make an example out of a few employers by potentially driving them out of business. (And putting your snitches on the unemployment line in the process.) Problem solved, right?

Here’s the even more disturbing part. What are all of these people going to be saying once the country reaches some lofty goal of having more than 80% of the entire population vaccinated against a disease with a 99.75% survival rate. At that point, the death rate will be comparable to if not lower than that of the seasonal flu. But it’s starting to sound to me like the Biden administration is looking at this as if these mandates will exist in perpetuity. There is no mention of firing people who aren’t vaccinated against the flu. Even if there is an end date for this mandate, what will happen to all of the people who lost their livelihoods or even their businesses as a result of these Gestapo tactics? Apparently, there will be no compensation coming their way.

This is preposterous. Employers seriously need to refuse to comply in massive numbers. Let’s see the Biden administration try to shut down that many employers and destroy that many jobs. We dare you. If you do, there won’t be another Democrat elected president or as Speaker for a generation. Or everyone can act like sheep and go along with this. And then we’ll turn out like Australia.