President Joe Biden recently announced vaccine mandates for employees working with the federal government and in the private sector. All companies employing more than 100 people are required to ensure that their workers are vaccinated.
At least 19 governors have announced that they disagree with the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate. The governors are all from Republican states. In addition, two Republican state attorneys general from Utah and Indiana are also standing up against the mandate.
Asa Hutchinson, governor of Arkansas and chair of the National Governors Association, said in a statement that although he supports efforts to promote vaccination, federal government mandates on private businesses “are not the right answer.” Arizona Governor Doug Ducey called the mandate “outrageous” and insisted on pushing back.
“I will pursue every legal option available to the state of Georgia to stop this blatantly unlawful overreach by the Biden administration,” Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said on Twitter.
Governor Kristi Noem from South Dakota said that her legal team is prepared to oppose the mandate. “South Dakota will stand up to defend freedom. @JoeBiden see you in court,” Noem said in a tweet.
While speaking about vaccine mandates in schools, Biden had said that if state governors refuse to help Washington “beat the pandemic,” he will use his power as President of the United States to “get them out of the way.”
In an interview with CNN, Cedric Richmond, director of the White House Office of Public Engagement and a former Louisiana congressman, said it was unfortunate that many governors were against vaccination and masks for “political gain.” He supported Biden’s threat against the governors.
“We have to do everything we can to make sure adults do it (vaccination). And those governors that stand in the way, I think it was very clear from the president’s tone today that he will run over them. And it is important. It’s not for political purposes. It’s to save the lives of American people,” Richmond said.
Speaking about unvaccinated individuals, Biden said that his patience was “wearing thin,” and urged them to get inoculated now that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Pfizer’s Comirnaty vaccine.
However, the issue is highly controversial, as no approved Pfizer Comirnaty vaccine doses are available for use in the United States. All existing Pfizer vaccines are those sanctioned under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), which people have the right to refuse.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has criticized Biden’s vaccine mandate. He accused Biden of not being willing to “take responsibility for anything,” and instead blaming other people and states. At an event in Florida, DeSantis pointed out that during his presidential campaign, Biden had promised that he would “shut down the virus.” However, COVID-19 cases have spiked 300 percent when compared to this time last year, even with significantly higher vaccination rates and the reinstitution of mask mandates.
DeSantis called Biden’s plans “very destructive” to the livelihood of Americans. “He’s saying, he’s losing patience with people. You know, at the end of the day, we don’t live with a one-person rule in this country… We live in a Constitutional system [in] which people’s rights are respected, but particularly in this juncture, their livelihoods and their jobs have to be protected,” DeSantis stated.
Many individuals are worried about the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines. As of Sept. 3, a total of 675,593 adverse events following COVID-19 vaccination have been reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). This includes 14,506 deaths and 18,439 cases of permanent disability.
Meanwhile, some business owners are worried that the vaccine mandate will make it tough for them to hire employees. On the other hand, businesses with less than 100 workers might be better positioned to attract unvaccinated employees, as the vaccine mandate would not apply to them.
“Being left out of the mandate is helpful for hiring… We are still finding that a small but meaningful number of people in our area are vaccine hesitant, and staffing is so tough that even one person is significant to us,” Alan Dietrich, CEO of Crater Lake Spirits in Bend, Oregon, said in an interview with AP News. His business employs 36 people.