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Biden to Angry GOP Governors: 'Have At It'

President dismisses pushback over his vaccine mandates
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2021 12:01 PM CDT
Biden to Angry GOP Governors: 'Have At It'
President Joe Biden speaks at Brookland Middle School, Friday, Sept. 10, 2021 in Washington. Biden has encouraged every school district to promote vaccines, including with on-site clinics, to protect students as they return to school amid a resurgence of the coronavirus.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(Newser) – After Republican governors promised to fight President Biden's sweeping new vaccine mandates, Biden himself had a three-word response: "Have at it." Reporters asked Biden about the backlash Friday morning, notes the Hill. “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,” said Biden. He did not name names, but Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp have spoken out. And Florida Politics expects its state's governor, Ron DeSantis, to join the dissenters in earnest soon. “We’re playing for real here," said Biden, "and this isn’t a game, and I don’t know of any scientist out there in this field that doesn’t think it makes considerable sense to do the six things I’ve suggested.”

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  • More to come: Just how bad will this dispute get? The headline at Mike Allen's Axios piece about all this is "America's civil war of 2021." It notes that GOP Senate candidate JD Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy, advocated "mass civil disobedience" in response to the new White House rules pushing vaccines for nearly all US workers.
  • The plan: Here is Biden's six-point plan, as presented by the White House.
  • A hashtag: Newsweek notes that the hashtag "I WILL NOT COMPLY" was trending on Twitter.
  • One view: In a New York Times essay, Reason senior editor Robby Soave writes that Biden is making a mistake. He notes that President-elect Biden once said vaccines should not be mandatory. As president, however, Biden is now guilty of overreach, something Democrats will surely regret once a Republican regains the White House. Also, "the mechanism of enforcement—a presidential decree smuggled into law by the Department of Labor and its Occupational Safety and Health Administration—is fundamentally undemocratic," writes Soave. "Congress is supposed to make new laws, not an unaccountable bureaucratic agency."
(Read more President Biden stories.)

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