If President Biden gets his way, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will require truck drivers, along with the overwhelming majority of American employees, to get COVID-19 injections or face stiff penalties. Truck drivers and their employers are already saddled with burdensome regulations via the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This new Biden regulation further intruding into drivers’ private medical affairs could make finding qualified truckers increasingly difficult, especially for small trucking companies.
At present, all commercially licensed big-rig drivers are required to submit to a physical medical exam every two years. If that exam finds a driver to be, say, pre-diabetic or pre-hypertensive, he must be prescribed medication from his doctor for the problem and present that to an official examiner in order to be cleared to drive. Then he must be reexamined every year instead of every other year.
Certain failures to meet the standards in the exam can disqualify drivers and cut their careers short. The Department of Transportation (DOT) physical not only requires testing by urine sample for diabetes and a blood pressure examination, but it is also a comprehensive physical including tests for vision, hearing, cardiovascular health, and (a favorite of the men), a hernia examination.
Why Truckers Might Say, ‘Jump Off a Bridge’
Adding a COVID shot (and potentially boosters) to these already invasive DOT physical requirements might make truckers balk for several reasons. For one, a good deal of young men aged 21 to 30 are in a low-risk group for complications from a COVID infection, and the Centers for Disease Control acknowledges data showing such younger vaccine recipients can later experience dangerous heart inflammation. Young truckers may make the calculation that risking an adverse side effect like this, although rare, is not worth the chance.
Other drivers might have religious or moral objections to how the vaccine was developed. Still others might simply be sick and tired of having Uncle Sam telling them what to do in virtually every area of their life and flat-out refuse for this reason alone.
Biden’s mandate in its current form also does not take
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