Moderate Democrats Begin to Waver on Vaccine Mandates

Joe Biden and Gretchen Whitmer
Adam Schultz / Biden for President

As President Biden’s vaccine mandate suffers legal smackdown after legal smackdown, moderate Democrats have begun to question if they are the best policy.

Speaking to the Daily News in Greenville, Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) expressed concern that vaccine mandates like the one proposed by Biden could lead to a dearth of government employees at the state level.

“We’re an employer too, the state of Michigan is,” Whitmer said on Monday.”I know if that mandate happens, we’re going to lose state employees. That’s why I haven’t proposed a mandate at the state level. Some states have. We have not. We’re waiting to see what happens in court.”

Whitmer expressing skepticism on vaccine mandates is no small feat, considering that she actively pushed mask mandates even as the state’s Republican legislature pushed back.

Just this week, Democrat Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, a state that heavily favored President Trump, indicated that he will vote along with Republicans to nullify Biden’s mandate,

“I’m not crazy about mandates,” Tester told NBC News on Tuesday.

A spokesperson for Tester later told The Hill that the senator is “inclined to vote for the CRA resolution” sponsored by Republicans.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced last week that he does “not support any government vaccine mandate on private businesses.”

“I do not support any government vaccine mandate on private businesses. That’s why I have cosponsored and will strongly support a bill to overturn the federal government vaccine mandate for private businesses,” Manchin said.

Manchin voted against Sen. Mike Lee’s (R-UT) amendment to prohibit federal funding for the implementation of Biden’s vaccine mandate because he did not want to risk a government shutdown.

The Biden administration suffered yet another legal blow on Tuesday when a federal judge issued an injunction striking down the vaccine mandate for federal contractors, arguing that the plaintiffs are “likely [to] succeed in their claim that the President exceeded the authorization given to him by Congress.”

Judge Stan Baker wrote:

The Court acknowledges the tragic toll that the COVID-19 pandemic has wrought throughout the nation and the globe. However, even in time of crisis this Court must preserve the rule of law and ensure that all branches of government act within the bounds of their constitutionally granted authorities.

Last week, another federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against his national vaccine mandate for healthcare workers.


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