Growing backlash over COVID vaccine mandate

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – Republicans angered by President Biden’s COVID plan are firing back, threatening to sue the federal government or ignore the mandate altogether, but the president is not backing down.

President Biden toured a school in Washington, D.C., responding defiantly to fierce backlash from Republicans vowing to challenge his aggressive plan mandating two-thirds of American workers get vaccinated.

“Have at it,” Biden said. “I am so disappointed, particularly that some of the Republican governors have been so cavalier with the health of these kids, so cavalier with the health of their communities. We’re playing for real here. This is not a game.”

The Republican National Committee’s threatening to sue the administration with at least 19 GOP governors vowing to defy the rules.

Governor Tate Reeves (R-Miss.) said, “He is picking a real fight with hard-working Americans. 80 million Americans. This president is saying to them, ‘Look, you can either get vaccinated or I as one individual is going to threaten your ability to feed your family.’ And that’s just wrong.”

It follows President Biden mandating all federal workers and most health care providers get vaccinated.

Any employee at a business with more than 100 workers must get vaccinated or take a weekly COVID test.

Biden said, “This is not about freedom or personal choice, it’s about protecting yourself and those around you.”

But back in December, the President opposed a mandate. “I don’t think it should be mandatory,” he said at the time. “I wouldn’t demand it to be mandatory.”

There are mixed reviews from businesses. An independent business group warning the move will “threaten the fragile small business recovery.” But the Business Roundtable that includes dozens of America’s biggest corporations “welcomes the Biden administration’s continued vigilance” fighting COVID.

But, in New York, Jessica Johnson-Cope, whose security firm has 160 employees supports the vaccine but worries about the burden of a mandate. The Johnson Security CEO said, “I’m worried about people not getting vaccinated because of vaccine hesitancy, and then the logistical and cost impact it could have on our business. It in essence is a tax on our business.”

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