U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) on Monday criticized U.S. President Joe Biden for his new COVID-19 vaccination mandates.
Biden said that, in order to work, all employees of private employers with 100 or more employees must take the COVID-19 vaccination or subject themselves to an at-least-weekly COVID testing.
Hagerty said this in a statement emailed to The Tennessee Star.
“I visited with my doctor and made the personal choice to get the vaccine—a product of President Trump’s miraculous Operation Warp Speed—and I have continually encouraged others to do the same. But this should be a personal decision for each Tennessean, in consultation with his or her doctor, not a top-down order from the federal government. This latest unlawful command by President Biden, which he vowed he would not order, improperly puts the federal government between Tennesseans and their physicians,” Hagerty said.
“Not only is this an invasion of the doctor-patient relationship, and an attempt to distract from President Biden’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, but having traveled the state over the last month, our businesses, particularly small ones, cannot find enough employees to hire, and the last thing they need is more draconian, one-size-fits-all, federal regulations that will make it even harder to hire and retain employees. Men and women have fought and died for the personal freedoms of all lawful Americans, and no President can take those liberties away. In fact, on July 23, when asked about the possibility of federal vaccine mandates, the White House Press Secretary stated: ‘that’s not the role of the federal government.’ I couldn’t agree more.”
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced last week he will fight Biden’s stricter and newly-announced COVID-19 vaccine requirements.
“To be clear: the vaccine is the best tool we have to combat the pandemic but heavy-handed mandates are the wrong approach,” Lee tweeted Thursday.
In another tweet, Lee said “the Constitution won’t allow this power grab, and in the meantime, I will stand up for all Tennesseans.”
Biden’s new mandate will use the U.S. Department of Labor to require all employers with more than 100 workers to have those employees vaccinated or tested weekly for COVID-19. That will affect about 80 million Americans, Biden said. Those employers must also provide paid time off for those employees to get vaccinated.
Biden added that he is signing executive orders to require all executive branch employees and federal government contractors to get vaccinated, and they do not have an option to take a COVID-19 test instead.
Biden said that those who are unvaccinated are “blocking public health,” and that “this is not about freedom or personal choice, it’s about protecting yourself and those around you.”
To Americans who are unvaccinated, Biden asked what more they have to wait for, as the COVID-19 vaccines are free, safe, convenient and approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The FDA has only given full approval to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are only available through FDA emergency use authorization.
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