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VERIFY: It's not clear whether President Biden can mandate COVID-19 vaccines for all Americans

Emily Berman, PhD at UH College of Law, says the president does have authority to take measures to prevent the entry of diseases but to what extent is up for debate.

Millions of Americans are required to get the COVID-19 shot under President Biden’s Executive Order mandating the vaccine. But someone wanted to know if the president can one day require that everyone get the shot.

George Logan asked the Verify team: “Can President Biden sign an executive order mandating that all Americans be fully vaccinated under the Public Health Emergency Act?”

Our source for this is Emily Berman, an associate professor at the University of Houston College of Law.

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“The Public Health Emergency Services Act does give the President broad authority to take measures to prevent the entry of and the spread of communicable diseases inside the United States. Exactly how far those powers extend is still a subject of much debate," Berman said. "We will see shortly. The Supreme Court is getting ready to hear arguments about the constitutionality of vaccine mandates. So, we'll have more definitive answers quite soon. But as of now, it is a contested question."

Dr. Berman adds, even if the Supreme Court says the President can mandate the vaccine for all Americans, there would likely be exemptions such as for medical or religious reasons.

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