Nebraska, Iowa governors call federal COVID-19 vaccination requirements ‘dangerous,’ ‘stunning violation’
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The governors of Nebraska and Iowa joined a chorus of Republican leaders issuing critical responses Thursday to President Biden’s federal COVID-19 vaccination mandate.
The administration’s expansive rules mandate that all employers with more than 100 workers require them to be vaccinated or test for the virus weekly. The new rule affects about 80 million Americans.
Insisting that “Nebraska will stand up to President Biden’s overreach,” Gov. Pete Ricketts denied the mandate was about public health and called the announcement a “stunning violation of personal freedom.”
“Americans, not the federal government, are responsible for taking charge of their personal health,” the governor said in a written statement. “It is not the role of the federal government to mandate their choices. Nebraska will stand up to President Biden’s overreach, and we will be working with the Attorney General to explore all our options.”
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds issued her statement minutes after the president began his address, calling Biden’s latest COVID-19 mandates “dangerous and unprecedented steps to insert the federal government even further into our lives while dismissing the ability of Iowans and Americans to make healthcare decisions for themselves.”
The governor said that the mandates for vaccination or testing will only worsen the workforce shortage — and the economy.
About six weeks ago, Ricketts and Reynolds also opposed updated CDC guidance on masks, stating that recommend that even vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the COVID-19 delta variant is fueling infection surges.
Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse also responded with a statement Thursday night:
“President Biden is so desperate to distract from his shameful, incompetent Afghanistan exit that he is saying crazy things and pushing constitutionally flawed executive orders. This is a cynical attempt to pick a fight and distract from the President’s morally disgraceful decision to leave Americans behind Taliban lines on the 20th anniversary of 9/11. This isn’t how you beat COVID, but it is how you run a distraction campaign — it’s gross and the American people shouldn’t fall for it.”
Watch President Biden’s announcement
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Copyright 2021 WOWT. All rights reserved.