Governors and members of Congress have denounced the plans of President Joe Biden to expand COVID-19 vaccination mandates, with legal action expected against any federal action.
Biden announced on Thursday evening that there would be numerous federal emergency rules requiring vaccinations for federal employees, government contractors, many businesses, healthcare workers, but excludes U.S. Postal Service employees.
In response, many Republican members of Congress, governors and business owners have expressed their opposition to the mandate, often labeling it as “overreach.”
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp took to his official Twitter account to denounce Biden's mandate, vowing to pursue legal action if the measures are implemented.
“I will pursue every legal option available to the state of Georgia to stop this blatantly unlawful overreach by the Biden administration,” tweeted Kemp.
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts also released a statement in response to Biden's announcement, describing it as “a stunning violation of personal freedom and abuse of the federal government’s power.”
“This plan isn’t about public health — this is about government control and taking away personal liberties,” Ricketts added. “Americans, not the federal government, are responsible for taking charge of their personal health.”
“It is not the role of the federal government to mandate their choices. Nebraska will stand up to President Biden’s overreach, and we will be working with the Attorney General to explore all our options.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis denounced the mandate at a press conference held in Pasco County focused on promoting the success of monoclonal antibody treatments for those who've contracted COVID-19.
“How could we get to the point in the country where you would want to have someone lose their job because of their choice about the vaccine or not?” DeSantis said.
“I mean, look, some folks have reasons to do — maybe they’re making the wrong decision — but to put them out of work and not let them earn a living because of this, I just think that that’s fundamentally wrong.”
Members of Congress, including Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California also denounced the mandate, with the GOP leader accusing the president of making “small business an enemy of his administration.”
“Forcing main street to vax or pay a fine will not only crush an economy he's put on life support—it's flat-out un-American. To Joe Biden, force is more important than freedom. Americans won't stand for it,” tweeted McCarthy.
On Thursday evening, Biden announced what he described as “a new plan to require more Americans to be vaccinated, to combat those blocking public health.”
These measures include requiring businesses with at least 100 employees to either require all of their staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine or have them produce at least one negative COVID test a week, requiring nursing home workers who treat people with Medicaid or Medicare to be vaccinated, and a mandate for all federal employees and those who contract with the federal government to be vaccinated.
Biden said that the requirements for being fully vaccinated or providing negative tests on a regular basis were already being implemented by major employers like Tysons Food, United Airlines, “and even Fox News.”
“This is not about freedom or personal choice,” Biden argued. “It’s about protecting yourself and those around you — the people you work with, the people you care about, the people you love.
“What more do you need to see? We’ve made vaccinations free, safe, and convenient. The vaccine has FDA approval. Over 200 million Americans have gotten at least one shot. We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin,” Biden added, “And your refusal has cost all of us."
"The unvaccinated minority can cause a lot of damage, and they are.”
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who's also a medical doctor, noted that Biden's mandate ignores the science because people who've already contracted COVID-19 have a natural immunity to the virus.
"Vaccine mandates that ignore natural immunity ignore the science, are unscientific, and should not be adhered to or promulgated by the government," Paul wrote.
Several studies have shown that people who've already contracted COVID-19 will likely have lifetime immunity. The Cleveland Clinic found in one such study that vaccinating people with "natural immunity" did not increase their level of protection. An Israeli study also found that people with natural immunity have a far greater level of protection than those who were vaccinated.
Dr. Martin Kulldorff, a Harvard Medical School epidemiologist, has also said that people who've recovered from the virus have "stronger and longer immunity" than those who are vaccinated.
Similarly, Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a Stanford professor of medicine, has explained that being vaccinated doesn't stop the spread of the virus, but it does provide protection from it.