Republicans challenging federal vaccine mandate

Politics

WASHIGNTON (NewsNation Now) — Governors across the country are challenging the constitutionality of President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Sunday that he supports vaccinations but argued the mandates won’t work.

“The problem is that I’m trying to overcome resistance but the president’s actions in a mandate hardens the resistance,” Hutchinson said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

The expansive rules mandate that all employers with more than 100 workers require them to be vaccinated or test for the virus weekly, affecting about 80 million Americans. And the roughly 17 million workers at health facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid also will have to be fully vaccinated.

“We talked about the fact that we’ve historically had vaccination requirements in schools, but those have always come at the state level,” Hutchinson said.

Several Republican governors along with the Republican National Committee are threatening to sue the Biden administration over these executive orders, calling them unconstitutional.

“Certainly this wouldn’t have been put forward if the present administration didn’t believe that it was an appropriate legal measure to take,” said U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy on ABC’s “This Week.”

Murthy defended the new mandates not only from a public health perspective, but also an economic one.

“We know that these kind of requirements actually work to improve our vaccination rates,” Murthy said.

Some 80 million Americans remain unvaccinated and the U.S. is seeing nearly twice the number of deaths compared to the same time last year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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