A red state rebellion against the vaccine mandate is now unfolding after President Biden laid out his six-point plan to fight COVID-19. Biden announced what many see as draconian vaccine mandates on Thursday in his speech to the nation. He told the American people, “we’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin.”
Officials from twenty-seven states have now announced their refusal to cooperate. Right out of the gate, South Carolina’s Republican Governor tweeted, “The American Dream has turned into a nightmare under President Biden and the radical Democrats.”
Battle Beagle on Twitter began documenting the house of cards in a Sept. 9 thread— the states joining the vaccine mandate rebellion. Some states like Florida, Texas, So. Dakota, and New Hampshire have already drawn a line in the sand and are now doubling down. Others are now coming forward more boldly. More states are joining by the hour.
State by state, governors are commenting. Here is a list of who is saying what:
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey:
“Once again, President Biden has missed the mark. His outrageous, overreaching mandates will no doubt be challenged in the courts. Placing more burdens on both employers and employees during a pandemic with the rising inflation rates and lingering labor shortages is totally unacceptable.”
Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy tweeted:
“This is ridiculous and unenforceable. If there was ever a case for the 25th Amendment…”
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey tweeted he would “push back”:
“This is exactly the kind of big government overreach we have tried so hard to prevent in Arizona—now the Biden-Harris administration is hammering down on private businesses and individual freedoms in an unprecedented and dangerous way. This will never stand up in court.”
“This dictatorial approach is wrong, un-American and will do far more harm than good. How many workers will be displaced? How many kids kept out of classrooms? How many businesses fined? The vaccine is and should be a choice. We must and will push back.”
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson:
“I fully support continued efforts to increase vaccination rates across our nation, but the federal government mandates on private businesses are not the right answer. I have been consistent in the freedom of businesses to require their employees to be vaccinated, and I have opposed the government from saying businesses cannot exercise that freedom. The same principle should protect the private sector from government overreach that requires them to vaccinate all employees.”
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp:
“I will pursue every legal option available to the state of Georgia to stop this blatantly unlawful overreach by the Biden administration.”
Idaho Gov. Brad Little tweeted the following:
“Today’s actions from President Biden amount to government overreach. 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.”
Indiana Gov. Eric J. Holcomb:
“I believe the vaccine is the number one tool that will protect us and our loved ones against COVID-19. It is the tool that will end the pandemic. However, I strongly believe it’s not the state or federal government’s role to issue a vaccine mandate upon citizens and private businesses. This is the approach our administration has taken all along. The announcement from President Biden is a bridge too far. 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 also weighed in:
Iowa Governor Kim Reynold:
“President Biden is taking dangerous and unprecedented steps to insert the federal government even further into our lives while dismissing the ability of Iowans and Americans to make healthcare decisions for themselves. Biden’s plan will only worsen our workforce shortage and further limit our economic recovery. 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.”
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt press release states:
“No president has the legal authority to decree a national vaccine mandate or to punish private businesses that refuse to discriminate against employees based on their health status. President Biden yesterday scolded ‘this is not about freedom,’ but the rule of law most certainly is. If the president’s overreaching rhetoric becomes federal action, then rest assured we will vigorously challenge it.
“To be clear, I continue to support Kansans choosing to be vaccinated, as I have. But this important health-care decision is reserved for individual Americans not entrusted to the president and federal bureaucrats.”
No word yet from Kansas Democrat Gov. Laura Kelly.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron tweeted on Friday:
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has clashed with Gov. Jon Bel Edwards over mask and vaccine mandates. Gov. Edwards has yet to release a statement.
On Friday, Attorney General Landry said the following:
“Joe Biden is once again stepping beyond his authority with his announced mandates. I will continue my legal efforts to defend the freedom and liberty of Louisianans!”
Mississippi Gov.Tate Reeves:
“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.”
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson tweeted the following:
“The Biden Administration’s recent announcement seeking to dictate personal freedom and private business decisions is an insult to our American principles of individual liberty and free enterprise. This heavy-handed action by the federal government is unwelcome in our state and has potentially dangerous consequences for working families. 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.”
Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte stated:
“President Biden’s vaccination mandate is unlawful and un-American. We are committed to protecting Montanans’ freedoms and liberties against this gross federal overreach.”
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts said in his media release:
“President Biden’s announcement is 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. 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.”
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu signed a law banning vaccine mandates in July. No comments from him since the announcement.
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum issued the following statement:
“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. 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.”
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tweeted:
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt tweeted:
“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. My administration will continue to defend Oklahoma values and fight back against the Biden administration’s federal overreach.”
South Dakota Governor Krist Noem tweeted twice: “South Dakota will stand up to defend freedom. See you in court, Joe Biden.”
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said in a series of tweets:
“This is not about freedom” is a phrase that should never come out of a U.S. President’s mouth. For a fight that requires working together, a lot of cynical and divisive edicts came out of the White House today pitting the vaccinated against the unvaccinated, businesses against employees, and the federal government against states. The Constitution won’t allow this power grab, and in the meantime, I will stand up for all Tennesseans.”
He then added his endorsement of the vaccine as the way out of this pandemic:
“To be clear: the vaccine is the best tool we have to combat the pandemic but heavy-handed mandates are the wrong approach.”
Texas Gov. Abbott tweeted:
“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.”
Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox issued a press statement that reads:
“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.”
W. Virginia Patrick Morrissey tweeted:
“State AGs, including WV, will not tolerate such blatant & illegal federal overreach from @POTUS. Buckle up America—our President is the opposite of a unifier in chief. Looking forward to seeing more details about Biden’s wild vaccine proposal. We’ll protect WV & America.”
Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon tweeted the following thread:
Biden’s six-step plan, posted on the WhiteHouse.gov website, focuses heavily on vaccination, mandating all federal employees except U.S. Postal workers to get the vaccine. Postal workers will have a choice.
Per the NY Post:
“USPS is not included in the executive order requiring vaccination of Federal employees. USPS has a separate statutory scheme and is traditionally independent of federal personnel actions like this,” a Biden administration official said.
“Postal workers will have a choice between getting the vaccine and getting tested for COVID-19 once a week, a Biden administration official clarified, subjecting those workers to the rules being imposed on business of 100 employees or more, as opposed to the rules for federal employees.”
This may be due to the fact that the USPS is an “establishment of the executive branch of the Government of the United States,” controlled by presidential appointees and the postmaster general. It is unlike other federal agencies.
“In this capacity, under the Constitution, the Postal Service shares in the sovereign immunity of the Federal Government from state and local regulation, except in areas where Congress has waived such immunity.” It could be very difficult for the Biden administration to win a case if the USPS union were to sue—as seen in the case of Dolan v. Postal Service, where the case was eventually dismissed. The post office also has powers of eminent domain.
The Biden administration is requiring vaccinations for employees of all businesses with over 100 employees or be tested weekly. Contractors who do business with the federal government must be vaccinated. 17 million medicare workers at Medicare and Medicaid health care settings must be vaccinated. Federal workers have 75 days to get vaccinated.
Biden, at one point in the speech, stated:
“[T]he time for waiting is over. This is not about freedom or personal choice. It’s about protecting yourself and those around you, the people you work with, the people you care about, the people you love.”
In his closing remarks, he said he wanted to make sure “America isn’t caught flat-footed when a new pandemic comes….get vaccinated.”