Conservative governors across the U.S. are vowing to fight President Joe Biden’s recently announced vaccine mandate plan. The plan requires businesses that have more than 100 employees to require either weekly Covid-19 testing or vaccination.
Biden’s move was both cheered and condemned by political leaders, union heads, and many Americans. According to an administration official, the mandate will be enacted through rulings by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which will carry penalties as high as $14,000 for each violation.
Critical reaction to Biden’s mandate came swiftly from Republican governors, including governors from Indiana, Montana, Arizona, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Texas, who vowed to fight it.
The Republican National Committee stated it would file a lawsuit against the Biden administration if when the mandate is put in place.
Biden ‘disappointed’ in governors
Biden said that he was “disappointed” in the governors planning to challenge the new requirements. He added that the governors were “so cavalier” about their communities and the health of children.
During a visit to a middle school, Biden was asked what message he would send to Republicans who oppose vaccine mandates and plan to challenge them in court, citing federal overreach. “Have at it. We’re playing for real here. This isn’t a game,” said Biden.
Biden’s mandate plan is expected to affect about 100 million workers across the country.
“Many of us are frustrated with the nearly 80 million Americans who are still not vaccinated,” the president said. “This is not about freedom from personal choice; it’s about protecting yourself and those around you.”
The requirement also requires about 17 million health facility workers to be vaccinated.
“We’ve been patient. But our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us,” the president said. The unvaccinated “can cause a lot of damage, and they are,” Biden added.
Republican leaders have slammed the sweeping mandates as “unconstitutional.” Red states across the country are gearing up for fierce legal battles.
“The American Dream has turned into a nightmare under President Biden and the radical Democrats,” tweeted Republican South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster.
“They have declared war against capitalism, thumbed their noses at the Constitution, and empowered our enemies abroad,” he wrote.
McMaster then issued a warning, saying, “Rest assured, we will fight them to the gates of hell to protect the liberty and livelihood of every South Carolinian.”
Representative Neal Dunn, R-Fla., said emphatically: “Mandates are not the answer. Getting the vaccine should be up to you and your doctor — not the federal government.”