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Both Carrot and Stick Vaccine Pushes Do Not Work

Last week the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW) wrote a letter to President Biden calling attention to his vaccine mandate and the looming threat this imposes on already-strained supply chains this Christmas season and beyond. NAW represents the $6 trillion distribution industry. The trade group, which is pro-vaccine, begged the White House to rethink the timing of this overreach.

NAW understands that imposing the December 8th deadline to vaccinate or terminate employees will result in the loss of workers that are “critical” to America’s supply chain.

The letter wisely points out how out of touch the Biden Administration has become. It proclaims that members know their employees best. They understand that the Executive Order will not convince those who have chosen not to receive the vaccine. Those who want the vaccine have already gotten it.  NAW admits that many of these employees who will be laid off for noncompliance are at the lower end of the socio-economic scale and will thus be most vulnerable.

The letter reveals that such broad dictates from Washington rob workers of their personal choices. This “serious miscalculation” from the White House will affect the poor most and impede our overall recovery. It is silly of Biden to project himself to be more knowledgeable on this topic than the unified voice of the sector itself: 35,000 enterprises employing 5.7 million workers in all 50 states.

In North Carolina, less abrasive measures have been taken to coax folks into getting the vaccine. The News & Observer reported that Gov. Cooper’s federally funded vaccine lottery had no impact on vaccination rates. The above tenet still holds: most people who wanted to get the vaccine have already done so.

Paige Terryberry / Fiscal Policy Analyst