‘Have at it’: Biden defiant as Republican governors threaten to sue over new vaccine mandates

President says he won’t be deterred by the threat of lawsuits over new vaccine mandates

Bevan Hurley
In New York
Friday 10 September 2021 19:37
210910 Biden Challenges Governors
Leer en Español

Joe Biden has dared Republican governors to sue over his sweeping new vaccine and weekly testing mandates for large businesses.

“Have at it,” President Biden said when asked about the Republican governors threatening to file lawsuits challenging the mandate.

Under the White House plan, every federal and private employer with 100 employees or more must require that unvaccinated workers either get the vaccine or submit to weekly Covid-19 testing.

More than 80 million workers are expected to be affected by the mandate.

Republicans immediately lined up to say they would fight the order in court, and called on businesses to “revolt” against the decree.

South Dakota GOP Governor Kristi Noem said her state would “stand up to defend freedom”, adding “see you in court”.

Texas governor Greg Abbott pledged to “halt the power grab”, while Georgia’s Brian Kemp said he would “pursue every legal option available to the state of Georgia to stop this blatantly unlawful overreach”.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Mr Biden said: “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.”

The President’s Twitter page later released a statement to say he wouldn’t be deterred by the legal threats.

“If these governors won’t help us beat the pandemic, we will get them out of the way.”

Announcing the new mandates on Thursday, Mr Biden took aim at Republican politicians who he identified as guilty of “actively undermining the fight against Covid-19”.

He even took the rare step of criticising private citizens who have chosen so far to remain unvaccinated against the virus.

“We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin and the refusal has cost all of us.”

He said the country was divided between a silent majority of the vaccinated, who were eager to return to normal after more than a year of Covid-related public health restrictions, and a smaller minority of vocal vaccine skeptics who he said were preventing America’s economy from overcoming the pandemic.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments