Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) refused to say if she would agree to President Joe Biden’s (D) demand to impose a statewide coronavirus vaccine mandate.
Whitmer, facing slumping polls showing her reelection prospects threatened by multiple Republican opponents, including James Craig and Tudor Dixon, sidestepped a question by Fox 2 about if Biden would “like that to be the case in Michigan.”
“The president would love to see more people get vaccinated. We’re all on the same page when it comes to that. But the fact of the matter is, there are different tools that the federal government has than those which we have at the state level,” she said.
Whitmer’s sidestep is not in line with previous statements made by the governor. When asked about broad mandates in August, Whitmer explicitly stated that there were no plans to implement the measure.
“There are no plans to do any broad mandates. Those who were uneasy because of the early use authorization status of the vaccine maybe now will have a greater confidence in the fact that these vaccines are safe and they work,” Whitmer said previously.
“We’re not talking about a mandate at this juncture. I don’t know that we will, but we are continuing to engage with our different units on conversations about how we keep our workplaces safe and our employees safe,” Whitmer detailed of mandating vaccines for state workers.
Attorney generals from 24 states have threatened to sue the Biden administration for its mandate on employers of 100 or more to vaccinate workers. Michigan is not one of them.
Instead, Democrats across the country have moved to implement mandates for both the coronavirus vaccine and wearing a face mask.
In the interview, Whitmer also said her “legal team” will tell her whether a provision in the latest state budget that blocks school districts from imposing mask mandates on students and employers from requiring employees to get vaccinated is “enforceable” or “constitutional.”
At the same time that widespread polling numbers demonstrate that school mask mandates have become unpopular, the governor has resisted issuing the additional regulation.
The move to include the ban on COVID-19 mandates in the state budget has been mirrored in states across the country, but has recently been questioned.
In Arizona, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper ruled on Monday that the Arizona state legislature’s ban on mask mandates in the state is a violation of the state’s constitution. Specifically, Cooper detailed that the state lawmakers could not implement consequential new policies within the state budget.
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