Representative image Photograph:( The New York Times )
US President Joe Biden has taken a strong stance recently with respect to vaccination
Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) employees have sued over mandatory Covid vaccination directions. They have alleged that the department has created 'hostile work environment' for unvaccinated members of the staff. The employees also argued that the vaccine mandate violated their privacy and civil rights.
The lawsuit has thrown up an aggressive challenge to the vaccine mandate and some police unions across California have threatened mass resignations.
US President Joe Biden has taken a strong stance recently with respect to vaccination. It has been made mandatory for government workers to get vaccinated failing which even their jobs would be on the line.
The mandate however is attracting legal challenges.
"Have at it," a defiant Biden told reporters on Friday when asked about legal challenges to the strict vaccination rules that would affect tens of millions of American workers.
After months of seeking to boost vaccination rates through gentle persuasion and incentives, the Democratic president made it clear on Thursday that he was fed up as the Delta variant sends Covid cases surging across the country.
Biden directly addressed the estimated 80 million eligible Americans who have not yet gotten the shot against a disease that has left 650,000 people dead in the United States.
"We've been patient, but our patience is wearing thin," the 78-year-old president said. "And your refusal has cost all of us. So, please, do the right thing."
Biden's plan mandates vaccinations for all federal employees and contractors and businesses with more than 100 employees. Companies could face fines if they do not comply.
Most of the Americans who have not yet been vaccinated tend to be younger, less educated, and more likely to be Republican, according to studies.
Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas said Friday that while he supports the vaccine, getting the shot should be the individual choice of every American.
"The federal government has no authority to force businesses in Texas and across the country to mandate their employees get vaccinated," Cruz said. "It is cruel and burdensome to impose this authoritarian mandate.
"While I support the vaccine and have received it, Americans have the right to exercise personal choice when it comes to their health."
(With inputs from agencies)