On Thursday, two dozen Republican attorneys general warned President Obama of legal action if the proposed coronavirus vaccine requirement that would affect as many as 100,000,000 Americans is implemented.
“Your plan is disastrous and counterproductive,” the prosecutors, led by Attorney General Alan Wilson of South Carolina, wrote in a letter sent to President Joe Biden. “If your Administration does not alter its course, the undersigned state Attorneys General will seek every available legal option to hold you accountable and uphold the rule of law.”
This letter is the latest GOP protest to broad new federal vaccine requirements that Biden announced earlier this month for federal contractors, private-sector workers, and health care workers. This requirement will be enacted by a rule of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It is part of an overall effort to reduce the COVID-19 Delta variant’s rising severity.
OSHA covers almost two-thirds the private sector workforce. It would be in effect for six months and then must be replaced with a permanent measure. Employers who fail to comply with OSHA rules could be subject to penalties up to $13,600.
According to Fisher Phillips, the rule will take effect in 29 states under OSHA’s jurisdiction once it is published. California and North Carolina, which have federally approved workplace safety departments, would be able to adopt similar measures within 30 days.
Republican leaders, as well as some union chiefs, have stated that Biden is going too far in trying to push private companies and workers. Governor Henry McMaster of South Carolina was the first to speak out. Governor Henry McMaster from South Carolina said via Twitter that his state would go to “the gates to hell” to defend every South Carolinian’s liberty and livelihood.
Wilson wrote to Biden stating that the vaccine “edict” is also illegal and warned that only one of the 10 OSHA emergency standards has been upheld by courts in recent decades.
Prosecutors also warned that the “edict” is unlikely to win hearts or minds, and will only drive more skepticism over vaccines.
“Your vaccine mandate represents not only a threat to individual liberty, but a public health disaster that will displace vulnerable workers and exacerbate a nationwide hospital staffing crisis, with severe consequences for all Americans,” they stated.
The prosecutors suggested that employees could work remotely in lieu of reporting in person to meet weekly testing or vaccine requirements.
In addition to Wilson in South Carolina, the letter was signed by attorneys general in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.