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Republican governors of Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee react to President Biden’s federal COVID-19 vaccine requirements

Governors Hutchinson, Reeves, and Lee react to plan for employers with 100+ workers to require employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19 or test for coronavirus weekly

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Republican Governors of Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee disagree with President Joe Biden’s plan to require COVID-19 vaccinations for tens of millions of employees. Biden’s new federal vaccine requirements are an all-out effort to increase COVID-19 vaccinations and curb the surging delta variant.

Thursday, the Biden administration announced expansive new rules that mandate all employers with more than 100 workers to require them to be vaccinated or test for the virus weekly, affecting about 80 million Americans. Also, Biden is signing an executive order requiring vaccination for all employees of the executive branch and contractors who do business with the federal government. No testing opt-out is expected to be included for the executive branch requirement.

On Twitter, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said, “I fully support continued efforts to increase vaccination rates across our nation, but the federal 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.”

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves, on Twitter, said, “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.”

On Twitter, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said, “The Constitution won’t allow this power grab, and in the meantime, I will stand up for all Tennesseans. To be clear: the vaccine is the best tool we have to combat the pandemic but heavy-handed mandates are the wrong approach.”