On Friday, President Joe Biden criticized governors who have repeatedly pushed back against his mandates and federal overreach with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As reported by The Associated Press, “Biden visited a public school just a short drive from the White House to make the case for new rules he set out a day earlier that could impact 100 million Americans.”
“I am so disappointed that particularly some Republican governors have been so cavalier with the health of these kids, so cavalier with the health of their communities,” Biden said during his trip to Brookland Middle School in Washington, D.C. “This isn’t a game.”
First Lady Jill Biden made similar statements at the event, advocating for the government’s involvement in the lives and livelihoods of citizens.
“We owe them a promise to keep their schools open as safe as possible,” she said. “We owe them a commitment to follow the science. We owe them unity, so that we can fight the virus, not each other.”
Biden was asked on Friday about possible legal moves to block the ability to enforce the new vaccine mandates. He answered, “Have at it.”
It appears that governors plan to do just that. Several governors issued statements after Biden’s Thursday speech regarding his attempt to push vaccine mandates for workers across the country.
As The Daily Wire reported, “The pushback from governors comes after the administration said on Thursday that The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will force all employers with 100 or more employees ‘to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work.’”
Biden said in his speech:
“My job as president is to protect all Americans. So tonight, I’m announcing that the Department of Labor is developing an emergency rule to require all employers with 100 or more employees that together employ over 80 million workers to ensure their work forces are fully vaccinated or show a negative test at least once a week.”
According to The New York Times, “Such a standard would pre-empt existing rules by state governments, except in states that have their own OSHA-approved workplace agencies —about half the states in the country. States with their own programs have 30 days to adopt a standard that is at least as effective, and that must cover state and local government employees, such as teachers. Federal OSHA rules do not cover state and local government employees.”
Initial reactions from governors include Republican Gov. Tate Reeves of Mississippi saying, “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.”
Republican Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia said, “I will pursue every legal option available to the state of Georgia to stop this blatantly unlawful overreach by the Biden administration.”
Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota, another Republican, made similar comments, tweeting, “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.”
Biden’s efforts to infringe on the rights of individual citizens and push federal overreach into the affairs of states will certainly be challenged in courts across the country despite his demeaning remarks against state leaders.