Some Republican leaders are making it crystal clear that they do not support the vaccine requirements affecting thousands of businesses and millions of workers announced by President Joe Biden on Thursday.
A Fox News headline sums up much of the GOP response: “Republicans explode with fury over Biden vaccine mandate: ‘Absolutely unconstitutional.’”
Echoing numerous Republican officeholders, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey vowed to resist the president’s vaccination plan, part of a six-point strategy to bring the latest Covid surge under control. “This is exactly the kind of big government overreach we have tried so hard to prevent in Arizona," Ducey tweeted. “The vaccine is and should be a choice. We must and will push back.”
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster was more combative: “Rest assured, we will fight them to the gates of hell to protect the liberty and livelihood of every South Carolinian,” he wrote in a tweet.
Biden pushes back: The president was asked about Republican plans to challenge his vaccination effort Friday. “Have at it,” he replied defiantly.
“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 added. “We’re playing for real here, and this isn’t a game, and I don’t know of any scientist out there in this field that doesn’t think it makes considerable sense to do the six things I’ve suggested.”
Nevertheless, Republicans are expected to mount serious resistance to the Biden plan, including taking legal action. “South Dakota will stand up to defend freedom,” Republican Gov. Kristi Noem tweeted. “@JoeBiden see you in court.”