Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) is leading the charge among Republican officials to litigate against President Joe Biden’s order that all employers with 100 or more staffers ensure that their workers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or that they show a negative test weekly.
“Just ended a call with my fellow Republican governors,” Kemp tweeted Friday. “We are fighting back against @POTUS’ outrageous overreach and attack on individual freedom. The vaccine is a choice, and hardworking Georgians, small business owners, and families will not be bullied by this administration.”
Kemp has publicly encouraged Georgians to acquire COVID immunity through vaccination without government coercion.
Several Republicans in Georgia’s congressional delegation have been outspoken in support of Kemp’s position on the mandate. Reps. Buddy Carter (R-GA-1), a pharmacist, and Drew Ferguson (R-GA-3), a dentist, both members of the GOP Doctors Caucus, joined a statement from the group in favor of challenging the vaccine requirement in court.
“It is un-American for the federal government to mandate what personal health choices private businesses must require of their employees,” the caucus stated. “Some have correctly perceived federal mandates as tyrannical. Personal health choices are just that, and private businesses should set their own policies. Health matters have generally been directed by the states; these new federal directives will and should be challenged.”
Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA-8) was equally forthright.
“Getting a vaccine is a personal choice,” Scott tweeted. “This is America, & @JoeBiden doesn’t get to dictate the health care choices of Americans. Show some respect, Mr. President.”
Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA-9) released a statement saying Biden has been engaged in “an ugly tantrum of hysterics” and “a complete affront to the U.S. Constitution.”
Reps. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA-11), Rick Allen (R-GA-12) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA-14) have also voiced their opposition to the White House’s order.
Biden’s directive comes despite his earlier opposition to making COVID vaccination mandatory.
“The bottom line: We’re going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated co-workers,” the president said Thursday. “We’re going to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by increasing the share of the workforce that is vaccinated in businesses all across America.”
The contradiction in Biden’s promise to “protect vaccinated workers” wasn’t lost on the president’s critics.
“I thought vaccines did that,” tweeted TimCast reporter Cassandra Fairbanks.
Asked by reporters for his reaction to GOP officials’ resistance to a vaccine mandate, Biden seemed undeterred.
“Have at it,” the president responded. “Look, 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.”
Although Biden and supporters of vaccine mandates and other major COVID countermeasures have repeatedly raised the prospect of the virus posing a serious threat to children, the record so far shows they have low vulnerability to it.
“Even unvaccinated kids are [at] lower risk of death than fully vaccinated adults of any age,” Alasdair Munro, pediatric registrar at the U.K.’s University Hospital Southampton Clinical Research Facility, noted via Twitter on Thursday.
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Bradley Vasoli is a reporter at The Georgia Star News and The Star News Network. Follow Brad on Twitter at @BVasoli. Email tips to [email protected].