Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey rips President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine plan
PHOENIX – Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey blasted Joe Biden’s new COVID-19 vaccine requirements, vowing to “push back” against the policy the president unveiled Thursday.
“President Biden’s dictatorial approach is wrong, un-American and will do far more harm than good. How many workers will be displaced? How many kids kept out of classrooms? How many businesses fined?” Ducey, a Republican and frequent critic of the nation’s Democratic executive branch, said in a press release.
“The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective tools to prevent the disease, but getting the vaccine is and should be a choice.”
Biden’s new requirements will affect as many as 100 million Americans in an effort to increase COVID-19 vaccinations and curb the surging delta variant that is killing thousands each week and jeopardizing the nation’s economic recovery.
“These mandates are outrageous,” Ducey said. “They will never stand up in court. We must and will push back.”
The new rules mandate that all employers with more than 100 workers require them to be vaccinated or test for the virus weekly, affecting about 80 million Americans. And the roughly 17 million workers at health facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid also will have to be fully vaccinated.
“COVID-19 is a contagious disease, it is still with us and it will be for the foreseeable future,” Ducey said. “President Biden’s solution is hammering down on private businesses and individual freedoms in an unprecedented and dangerous way.”
Biden also planned to issue an executive order to require vaccination for employees of the executive branch and contractors who do business with the federal government — with no option to test out. That covers several million more workers.
Separately, the Department of Health and Human Services will require vaccinations in Head Start Programs, as well as schools run by the Department of Defense and Bureau of Indian Education, affecting about 300,000 employees.
The president announced the new requirements in an address from the White House as part of a six-pronged action plan to address the latest rise in coronavirus cases and the stagnating pace of COVID-19 shots that has raised doubts among the public over his handling of the pandemic.
“Today marks another egregious big government overreach robbing Arizonans and all Americans of their fundamental rights to make their own decisions about their health and the health of their children,” Ducey said.
When news first broke of Biden’s intentions, Ducey took to Twitter to denounce the plan before it was officially announced.
This dictatorial approach is wrong, un-American and will do far more harm than good. How many workers will be displaced? How many kids kept out of classrooms? How many businesses fined? The vaccine is and should be a choice. We must and will push back. 2/2
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) September 9, 2021
The Associated Press contributed to this report.