Fact Check: OSHA Suspension Of Vaccine Mandate Was NOT Ignored By 'The Media'

Fact Check

  • by: Kaiyah Clarke
Fact Check: OSHA Suspension Of Vaccine Mandate Was NOT Ignored By 'The Media' Media Reported

Did "the media" ignore the announcement by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that it was suspending the government's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for some businesses? No, that's not true: National news organizations including CBS News, Fox News and CNBC, and online publications including The Hill and Forbes all provided coverage on the temporary suspension.

The claim was in a Facebook post (archived here) on November 17, 2021. Text was on what seemed to be a celebratory graphic post that read:

This should be all
Over the media but it isn't!
O S H A suspended the mandate 👇

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

OSHA Claim Image.png

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Fri Nov 19 23:32:56 2021 UTC)

OSHA suspended the Biden administration's requirement for businesses with 100 or more employees to either mandate COVID vaccination for all their workers or ensure that unvaccinated workers wear masks and are tested for COVID at least once a week.

OSHA gave the background for the suspension on its website:

On November 12, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted a motion to stay OSHA's COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard, published on November 5, 2021 (86 Fed. Reg. 61402) ("ETS"). The court ordered that OSHA "take no steps to implement or enforce" the ETS "until further court order." While OSHA remains confident in its authority to protect workers in emergencies, OSHA has suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of the ETS pending future developments in the litigation.

The claim that "the media" wasn't "all over this" in covering the suspension is disproven by a quick Google search using the keywords "OSHA Suspends COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate." The search reveals multiple media organizations covered the announcement. There is this November 18, 2021, CBS News article, titled "OSHA is suspending enforcement of the government's new employer vaccine rule;" this November 17, 2021, Fox News article titled, "OSHA suspends enforcement of COVID-19 vaccine mandate for large businesses;" and this November 18, 2021, New York Post article, titled "OSHA suspends Biden's COVID-19 vaccine mandate after court challenge," to highlight just some of the coverage.

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Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.


  Kaiyah Clarke

Kaiyah Clarke is a fact-checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Florida A&M University with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and is currently pursuing an M.S. in Journalism. When she is not fact-checking or researching counter-narratives in society, she is often found reading a book on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Read more about or contact Kaiyah Clarke

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