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Biden defeated by US Supreme Court over vaccine mandate

US President Joe Biden suffered a major defeat yesterday when the Supreme Court blocked a rule requiring workers at large companies to be either vaccinated against Covid-19 or undergo regular testing.

Justices said that the mandate exceeded his administration’s authority, although they ruled that a more limited vaccine mandate could stand at state-funded health facilities.

Mr Biden said the decision blocked “common-sense life-saving requirements for employees.

“I call on business leaders to immediately join those who have already stepped up, including one third of Fortune 100 companies, and institute vaccination requirements to protect their workers, customers and communities,” he said.

Former president Donald Trump welcomed the decision, however, saying that the vaccine requirement would have further damaged the flagging US economy.

“We are proud of the Supreme Court for not backing down,” he said in a statement. “No mandates.”

Under the rules, introduced in November, workers at companies with more than 100 employees would have needed either a Covid-19 jab or to wear a mask and pay for weekly tests.

Some 84 million workers would have been affected by the measures, which would have been enforced by their bosses.

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