Last week President Joe Biden announced a vaccine mandate for businesses with more than 100 employees, adding fuel to the fire that is to vaccinate or not to vaccinate. People all over the country feel very strongly against the vaccine and even more so about the right to choose for themselves whether or not they should get it.
Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts of Nebraska is an adamant opponent of Biden’s planned vaccine mandate, even going as far as to say the president is out of touch with how different parts of the country are handling the coronavirus pandemic.
Rickett slammed Biden for not communicating with the states, pointing out that since the president took office he’s not participated in any of the weekly phone calls the White House has with the nation’s governors.
“The president should look at the data, and maybe the president should attend one of the weekly calls his administration has with all the governors – he’s not been on one yet, since he’s been President – and maybe talk to some of the governors and ask them about what’s going on in their states because he appears to be pretty ignorant of what’s going on in places like Nebraska,” Ricketts said.
Governor Ricketts reported Nebraska as having the third-lowest COVID-19 death rate in the nation, their hospitals are not overtaxed, and that patients between the ages of 10-19, for the year 2020, were “26 times more likely to die in a car accident than they were of COVD19.”
As part of Biden’s mandate, all federal workers are required to get vaccinated, with no option to undergo testing instead. He further directed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to require private companies with more than 100 employees to require workers to either be vaccinated or get weekly testing if they do not get vaccinated.
Ricketts says that he is in favor of people being vaccinated, but he does not think the government should force them to do it.
“First of all, we have been encouraging people to get vaccinated. We’ve been providing information and encouraging people to reach out to their neighbors because vaccines work and they will help people,” Ricketts said. “But it should be a personal health care choice. This is not something that the government should mandate and somebody shouldn’t have to make the choice between keeping their job and getting a jab in the arm. I mean, it’s just wrong.”
Nebraska students are already required to be vaccinated for measles, chickenpox, polio, and hepatitis B, Ricketts said those vaccines are different because they have a long history that parents are able to look at.
Ricketts said he is considering legal action, he said State Attorney General Doug Peterson is exploring options along with attorneys general in other states.
“He’s coordinating with other attorneys general across the country who share similar views about the overreach,” Ricketts said. “This is an egregious overreach of federal authority. And as we see what these rules are we will be able to know exactly how we will be able to challenge them in court. I’m also talking with my colleagues around the country as well, the other governors who feel the way I do, and we’ll be working on other strategies.”