President Joe Biden on Thursday delivered a tyrannical speech announcing the federal vaccine mandates that he was decreeing by executive order. At least twenty-six Republican governors and/or state attorney generals thus far have issued statements in direct opposition to Biden’s federal vaccine mandate.
“In his most forceful pandemic actions and words, President Joe Biden on Thursday announced sweeping new federal vaccine requirements affecting as many as 100 million Americans in an all-out effort to increase COVID-19 vaccinations and curb the surging delta variant,” the AP reported.
“Speaking at the White House, Biden sharply criticized the roughly 80 million Americans who are not yet vaccinated, despite months of availability and incentives,” the report said.
Biden on people who haven't gotten vaccinated:
"We've been patient but our patience is wearing thin and your refusal has cost all of us." pic.twitter.com/Hj4jnmWpuX
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) September 9, 2021
“We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin,” Biden said. “And your refusal has cost all of us.”
President Biden also specifically threatened resistant Republican governors by saying that would he use his executive powers to “get them out of the way.”
“Let me be blunt,” Biden said. “My plan also takes on elected officials in states that are undermining you in these life-saving actions. Right now local school officials are trying to keep children safe in a pandemic while their governor picks a fight with them and even threatens their salaries or their jobs. Talk about bullying the schools.”
“If they’ll not help, if these governors won’t help us beat the pandemic, I will use my power as president to get them out of the way,” he added. “The Department of Education has already begun to take legal action against states undermining protection that local school officials have ordered.”
Republican governors have begun to issue their responses to the federal government’s overreach and the president’s threats. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis actually issued a statement in opposition to Biden’s executive order before it was officially issued.
“How could we get to the point in this country where you would not let them earn a living because of their choice on the vaccine?” Gov. DeSantis said. “I just think that’s fundamentally wrong. I do not believe that people should lose their jobs over this issue, and we will fight that.”
"How could we get to the point in this country where you would not let them earn a living because of their choice on the vaccine? I just think that's fundamentally wrong. I do not believe that people should lose their jobs over this issue, and we will fight that." @GovRonDeSantis pic.twitter.com/QEm1ankGTm
— Christina Pushaw (@ChristinaPushaw) September 9, 2021
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem also issued a statement in anticipation of Biden’s formal announcement.
“South Dakota will stand up to defend freedom,” Noem wrote. “Joe Biden see you in court.”
South Dakota will stand up to defend freedom. @JoeBiden see you in court.
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) September 9, 2021
Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp responded to Biden’s remarks.
“I will pursue every legal option available to the state of Georgia to stop this blatantly unlawful overreach by the Biden administration,” Kemp tweeted.
I will pursue every legal option available to the state of Georgia to stop this blatantly unlawful overreach by the Biden administration.
— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) September 9, 2021
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said, “as long as I am governor, there will be no government vaccine mandates in state.”
It is not the government’s role to dictate to private businesses what to do.
Once again President Biden is demonstrating his complete disregard for individual freedoms and states’ rights.
As long as I am governor, there will be no government vaccine mandates in Oklahoma.
— Governor Kevin Stitt (@GovStitt) September 9, 2021
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced the state is already working to halt Biden’s vaccine mandate ‘power grab’.
“Biden’s vaccine mandate is an assault on private businesses,” Abbott said. “I issued an Executive Order protecting Texans’ right to choose whether they get the COVID vaccine & added it to the special session agenda. Texas is already working to halt this power grab.”
Biden’s vaccine mandate is an assault on private businesses.
I issued an Executive Order protecting Texans’ right to choose whether they get the COVID vaccine & added it to the special session agenda.
Texas is already working to halt this power grab.https://t.co/TwoQMhDxoM
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) September 9, 2021
Alabama Governor Key Ivey also released a statement declaring her intention to fight the mandate.
— Governor Kay Ivey (@GovernorKayIvey) September 9, 2021
Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon also issued a statement saying: “Not now, and not ever.”
Tennessee’s Governor Bill Lee also stated his broad opposition to the federal mandate.
“The Constitution won’t allow this power grab, and in the meantime, I will stand up for all Tennesseans,” Gov. Lee wrote.
The Constitution won’t allow this power grab, and in the meantime, I will stand up for all Tennesseans.
— Gov. Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) September 9, 2021
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts also declared his state’s opposition to the federal government’s overreach.
“Americans, not the federal government, are responsible for taking charge of their personal health,” Ricketts wrote. “It is not the role of the federal government to mandate their choices. Nebraska will stand up…working with the Attorney General to explore all our options.”
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.
— Gov. Pete Ricketts (@GovRicketts) September 9, 2021
Idaho Gov. Brad Little also issued a statement, although it is unclear if the governor is planning legal action.
“Today’s actions from President Biden amount to government overreach,” Little wrote. “Government should stay out of decisions involving employers and their employees as much as possible. I’ve advocated for and championed fewer government regulations and mandates on business.”
I still urge Idahoans to choose safe and effective ways to protect themselves from COVID-19 for the continued health and prosperity of the people of Idaho.
— Brad Little (@GovernorLittle) September 9, 2021
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds also issued a statement in opposition, but it is not clear if the governor is planning on legal action.
“As I’ve said all along, I believe and trust in Iowans to make the best health decisions for themselves and their families,” Governor Reynolds wrote. “It’s time for President Biden to do the same. Enough is enough.”
As I’ve said all along, I believe and trust in Iowans to make the best health decisions for themselves and their families. It’s time for President Biden to do the same. Enough is enough. (3/3/)
— Gov. Kim Reynolds (@IAGovernor) September 9, 2021
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster also issued a statement declaring opposition to the mandates.
“The American Dream has turned into a nightmare under President Biden and the radical Democrats,” Governor McMaster wrote. “They have declared war against capitalism, thumbed their noses at the Constitution, and empowered our enemies abroad.”
“Rest assured, we will fight them to the gates of hell to protect the liberty and livelihood of every South Carolinian,” he added.
Rest assured, we will fight them to the gates of hell to protect the liberty and livelihood of every South Carolinian.
— Gov. Henry McMaster (@henrymcmaster) September 9, 2021
Missouri Governor Mike Parson declared that his state would be standing up to the executive order.
“Vaccination protects us from serious illness, but the decision to get vaccinated is a private health care decision that should remain as such,” Governor Parson wrote. “My administration will always fight back against federal power grabs and government overreach that threatens to limit our freedoms.”
Vaccination protects us from serious illness, but the decision to get vaccinated is a private health care decision that should remain as such. My administration will always fight back against federal power grabs and government overreach that threatens to limit our freedoms. (3/3)
— Governor Mike Parson (@GovParsonMO) September 9, 2021
Governor Parson followed that up with a statement promising ‘strong legal action’ on ‘mulitple fronts.’
“I don’t plan on letting that happen in Missouri,” Parson said. “I think the president is totally wrong on the policy he’s setting forth.”
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey also issued a statement in opposition to the federal government’s mandate.
“The Biden-Harris administration plans on fining businesses $14,000 for every employee not tested or vaccinated — but somehow they’ve exempted one of their largest federal agencies from the mandate?” Governor Ducey said, noting the USPS is ‘exempt.’
“Maybe it’s because they realize this is pure government overreach,” Ducey added. “Maybe it’s because they realize this will only make workforce shortages worse. Or maybe it’s simply a case of ‘rules for thee, not for me.’ It’s hypocrisy and Arizona will not stand for it.”
Maybe it’s because they realize this is pure government overreach. Maybe it’s because they realize this will only make workforce shortages worse. Or maybe it’s simply a case of “rules for thee, not for me.” It’s hypocrisy and Arizona will not stand for it. 2/2
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) September 9, 2021
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves also declared his state’s opposition to the executive order.
“The President has no authority to require that Americans inject themselves because of their employment at a private business,” Governor Reeves wrote. “The vaccine itself is life-saving, but this unconstitutional move is terrifying. This is still America, and we still believe in freedom from tyrants.”
The President has no authority to require that Americans inject themselves because of their employment at a private business. The vaccine itself is life-saving, but this unconstitutional move is terrifying. This is still America, and we still believe in freedom from tyrants.
— Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) September 9, 2021
Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy has also issued a statement.
“This is ridiculous and unenforceable. If there was ever a case for the 25th Amendment…,” Governor Dunleavy wrote.
— Governor Mike Dunleavy (@GovDunleavy) September 10, 2021
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has also issued a statement in opposition.
In response to President Biden’s Covid-19 action plan: pic.twitter.com/550XsT704V
— Gov. Asa Hutchinson (@AsaHutchinson) September 9, 2021
Montana Governor Greg Gianforte denounced the Biden mandate.
President Biden’s vaccination mandate is unlawful and un-American. We are committed to protecting Montanans’ freedoms and liberties against this gross federal overreach.
— Governor Greg Gianforte (@GovGianforte) September 9, 2021
Utah Governor Spencer Cox issued a statement questioning the legality of the order.
“Getting vaccinated is the single most important thing people can do right now to protect ourselves and our community and reduce the spread of the Delta variant. While we support efforts that encourage vaccinations, we have serious concerns about the legality of the order.”
North Dakota Governor Greg Burgum issued a forceful statement in opposition.
“President Biden’s misguided plan steers our country down a dangerous path away from states’ rights and the freedom of private businesses to make their own decisions on vaccinations. We stand opposed to this blatant federal overreach,” Burgum said. “Safe, effective vaccines remain our best tool for preserving hospital capacity and ensuring access to care, but forcing a vaccine mandate on private employers is not the role of the state or federal government.
“We have reached out to the North Dakota Attorney General’s Office to discuss options for mounting a legal challenge to this mandate, which goes against everything I believe as a governor, a business owner and an American,” Burgum continued. “The White House needs to be reminded that the states created the federal government, not the other way around, and we will always vigorously defend states’ rights.”
While Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly’s office is “reviewing” the executive order, state Attorney General Derek Schmidt issued a statement in direct opposition.
“President Biden yesterday scolded ‘this is not about freedom,’ but the rule of law most certainly is,” Schmidt said in a statement. “If the president’s overreaching rhetoric becomes federal action, then rest assured we will vigorously challenge it.”
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb came out in strong opposition to the Biden vaccine mandate.
“The announcement from President Biden is a bridge too far,” Holcomb said in a statement. “Private businesses should be able to look at their own mission, their staff and their goals and make the decision best for them that will keep their doors open. I believe it is fundamentally a citizen’s right to choose whether or not to get the vaccine. While I wish everyone would get the vaccine, we are a country built on this exact type of freedom.”
Indiana’s Attorney General Todd Rokita threatened a lawsuit if the federal government took action to violate Indiana citizens’ rights.
“My team and I, along with other like-minded attorneys general, are reviewing all legal action on how to stand against these authoritarian actions by the Biden administration,” Rokita said. “We will be prepared to file suit if Biden seeks illegal actions restricting Hoosiers’ liberties.”
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine gave a mildly reproachful statement that was nonethless principally in opposition to the vaccine mandate.
I think the President made a mistake by announcing federal vaccine mandates. We should be focused on the science of preventing virus spread – the vaccine is our best tool to stop COVID – but people and business owners should make their own decisions about vaccination.
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) September 10, 2021
New Hampshire Gov. also issued scathing remarks against the vaccine mandate.
“Forcing people to choose between their jobs and livelihood or the vaccine is not an appropriate way to increase vaccine uptake…”
“Yesterday’s actions by the Biden administration are another example of saying one thing, then doing another and creating instability and mistrust at a time when the American people need serious leadership,” Sununu said on Friday. “New Hampshire’s workforce, most especially in health care, is at a critical level and unilateral mandates by the federal government could lead to shortages in multiple areas that are already at grave risk.”
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice blasted Biden’s vaccine mandate.
“What President Biden is doing right now, coming out and saying that any employer that has more than 100 employees, making it mandatory that they get vaccinated and everything, I absolutely think that is wrong,” he said. “I am absolutely not in support of doing that in any way in the state of West Virginia.”
“Justice went on to criticize Biden’s handling of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the administration’s immigration policy at the southern border,” the Columbus Dispatch reported.
“Let’s hit at our private businesses, our private folks and everything in every way,” he said. “Nope, nope, nope. I think all we’re doing is doubling down to try to change the news cycle. That’s what this is about. This is just changing the news cycle to where we will take the attention away from Afghanistan and the southern border or whatever it may be.”
The Biden administration has said repeatedly earlier that it would not issue federal vaccine mandates.
In December, then President-Elect Biden made the pronouncement that he wouldn’t make vaccines mandatory. Watch:
“I don’t think it should be mandatory. I wouldn’t demand it to be mandatory,” Biden said at a news conference in Wilmington, Del. “Just like I don’t think masks have to be made mandatory nationwide.”
“I’ll do everything in my power as president of the United States to encourage people to do the right thing and when they do it, demonstrate that it matters,” he said.
On July 25, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki also said a vaccine mandate was “not the federal government’s role.” In May, Psaki effectively said the same thing, as well.
“President Joe Biden’s administration had no plans to impose a federal vaccination mandate or database, White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed at a Friday press briefing,” the Daily Caller reported.
However, on Thursday is going to break his administration’s promises to the American people and issue the most sweeping set of federal vaccine mandates in U.S. history, affecting thousands of employers and tens of millions of Americans.
“Biden to mandate all employers (100 workers or more) require COVID-19 vaccinations or weekly virus tests, affecting as many as 100 million Americans,” PBS reported.
Businesses that don’t abide by the new virus policy will face “substantial fines up to nearly $14,000 per violation,” a senior Biden admin official said.
“In addition, Biden will require health care workers at Medicare & Medicaid participating hospitals and other health care settings to be vaccinated, impacting more than 17 million workers,” PBS added.
On Thursday, it nonetheless issued one of the most sweeping overreaches of executive power in generations. Let the lawsuits begin.
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.