Biden Playing ‘Catch Me If You Can’: Rep. Byron Donalds on Vaccine Mandate

By Li Hai
Li Hai
Li Hai
Li Hai is a New York-based reporter for The Epoch Times.
November 18, 2021 Updated: November 18, 2021

According to Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.), President Joe Biden knew the vaccine mandate was unconstitutional, but he ordered it anyway to force people to comply until the court stopped him.

“Joe Biden knows this. He knows it’s unconstitutional,” Donalds told NTD’s “Capitol Report” in an interview premiered Wednesday, referring to Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

“What he’s doing is playing ‘catch me if you can’ with the United States Constitution,” the first-year congressman said. “He knows what he is doing is wrong. He already said before—he doesn’t have the legal authority to do it—but he’s doing it anyway.”

Biden had said multiple times that he wouldn’t enforce a vaccine mandate. The most quoted one happened last December. Biden told reporters on Dec. 4, 2020, “I don’t think it should be mandatory. I wouldn’t demand it to be mandatory.”

The White House has defended its policy shift. On Sept. 9, when Biden was going to sign the executive order to mandate federal employees to get vaccinated, his press secretary Jen Psaki said, “Obviously, information, data evolves, and the steps we need to take to address—to get the virus under control, to help people return to normal—has to evolve as well.”

“The reason we’re here is because people have not gotten vaccinated—80 million of them—not because of any other reason,” Psaki continued. “So, what our objective is—from the federal government—is to continue to take bold and ambitious steps to get more people vaccinated and protect more people.”

Epoch Times Photo
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks to reporters in Washington, on Aug. 6, 2021. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Donalds said Biden is trying to threaten businesses and people with the force of law.

“That is what the modern Democrat Party is. It is absolutely wrong. It’s unconstitutional. And that’s what the court is going to find.”

On Nov. 12, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reaffirmed the hold on Biden’s vaccine mandate for private businesses with 100 workers or more. The mandate was ordered through a rule from the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Following the court’s order, OSHA said it has suspended the implementation and enforcement of the mandate “pending future developments in the litigation.”

“The Fifth Circuit is right. It is unconstitutional,” Donalds told NTD. “Congress never gave OSHA that authority. It was never even thought of in Congress to give OSHA that authority.”

“Also, in our country, we have something called HIPAA laws that have been completely ignored during COVID-19,” Donalds continued. “There’s never been a time where we frankly say, ‘you can’t work here unless you take this.’ That’s medical discrimination.”

HIPPA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. It is a federal law aimed to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent or knowledge.

Donalds believes the litigation about the mandate would go to the Supreme Court eventually, given so many lawsuits against it going on.

“We are a free people in the United States. The government has no authority to tell me what I’m going to inject into my arm,” Donalds added, affirming he won’t get the vaccine. “If Nancy Pelosi came out and said, ‘I’m issuing a vaccine mandate.’ I will look at her and [say], oh, go find somebody to do it. Because trust me, it’s not going in my arm.”

Donalds said if the vaccine harms somebody, then the federal government—and probably the business owners as well—would be culpable for it. The taxpayers, unfortunately, would be paying for that.

“Business owners need to take a long, hard look at this. Don’t follow Joe Biden down a road that goes against the very fabric of our nation. It goes against the very fabric of our nation,” Donalds said.

Steve Lance contributed to this report.

Li Hai
Li Hai is a New York-based reporter for The Epoch Times.