Republican leaders had a strong reaction to President Biden's announcement of coronavirus vaccine mandates to affect two-thirds of the US workforce: "See you in court," tweeted South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, one of several Republican governors threatening to fight back. South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster tweeted "they have declared war against capitalism" and "we will fight them to the gates of hell," per WHNS. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon, and Missouri Gov. Mike Parson also tweeted against "federal power grabs and government overreach."
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted he'd "issued an Executive Order protecting Texans' right to choose whether they get the COVID vaccine & added it to the special session agenda" so as to "halt this power grab." Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said the RNC would also sue to block "Biden's unconstitutional actions and authoritarian decrees" so as "to protect Americans and their liberties," per the Washington Post. Biden surely expected this. "A distinct minority of Americans—supported by a distinct minority of elected officials—are keeping us from turning the corner," he said in Thursday's speech.
"If these governors won't help us beat the pandemic, I'll use my power as president to get them out of the way," he said. All federal workers and staff at health facilities that receive federal funding will be required to get vaccinated, while employees of large businesses will have to get vaccinated or submit to weekly testing. Amazon's vice president of public policy, Brian Huseman, responded that vaccines are a powerful tool for "protecting America's workforce," per Reuters. He added Amazon was "proud to work with the Biden administration to increase access to affordable, high-quality, FDA-authorized tests, to keep us moving toward a full recovery."
A rep said Microsoft was "requiring proof of vaccination for all employees and vendors entering Microsoft buildings in the US" with exemptions for those who object for medical or religious reasons. The National Association of Manufacturers said "getting all eligible Americans vaccinated" will not only "reduce hospitalizations and save lives" but is "an economic imperative in that our recovery and quality of life depend on our ability to end this pandemic." (Read more vaccine mandate stories.)