Govs. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), Kristi Noem (R-SD), and Greg Abbott (R-TX) have joined the cadre of Republican governors vowing to combat President Joe Biden’s federal vaccine mandate.
In a press conference shortly after Joe Biden announced his sweeping mandate, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said his state will “fight” the Biden administration:
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? 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. I do not believe that people should lose their jobs over this issue, and we will fight that. If they try to do that through a rule like the Department of Labor, I don’t think they have the legal authority to do that, but we obviously would want to support protections for people who are just trying to earn a living.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Twitter that the Lone Star State has already enacted measures to combat President Biden’s “power grab.”
“Biden’s vaccine mandate is an assault on private businesses,” tweeted Abbott. “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
Likewise, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem told Biden that she will see him in court.
South Dakota will stand up to defend freedom. @JoeBiden see you in court.
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) September 9, 2021
My legal team is standing by ready to file our lawsuit the minute @joebiden files his unconstitutional rule. This gross example of federal intrusion will not stand.
— Kristi Noem (@KristiNoem) September 9, 2021
On Thursday, President Joe Biden announced a sweeping plan to combat coronavirus, including mandating vaccinations for all federal employees and contractors and threatening businesses with fines unless they require their employees to either get vaccinated or submit to weekly coronavirus tests. DeSantis reacted to early reports of Biden’s executive order in a press conference promoting the use of monoclonal antibodies to treat severe cases of coronavirus.
During his speech at the White House on Thursday, President Biden announced that he will have the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandate that private companies with 100 or more employees implement vaccine mandates or require negative tests. When announcing his mandate, the president frequently characterized the unvaccinated as selfish people who have made the pandemic worse, granting no exceptions to people who have been previously infected (natural immunity) or people in low-risk demographics:
“We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin.”
“Many of us are frustrated with the nearly 80 million Americans who are still not vaccinated.”
“I understand your anger at those who haven’t gotten vaccinated.”
“We’re going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated co-workers.”
The president also directed his ire toward Republican governors opposing his vaccine mandates, vowing to “get them out of the way.”
“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 in schools,” Biden said.
“If they’ll not help, if these governors won’t help us beat the pandemic, I’ll use my power as president to get them out of the way,” he added.