Lauren Moye, FISM NEWS
A few hundred people gathered at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station before dawn on Thursday to protest Biden’s vaccine mandate for federal employees and contract workers. On the same day, others protested at the Iowa State Capitol building. These grassroots movements by the people to freely express their opinions coincided with legal action taken by their governors – along with ten other states – against the White House this week over President Biden’s executive orders.
“It’s not really about the vaccine. It’s more about protecting our liberties and freedoms as Americans,” said Kayla Adamson, a co-organizer of the Cape Canaveral protest. The space force base is a source of revenue for contractors who will be impacted by the vaccine mandates, and the rally was attended by five different unions.
Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) backed up this stance when he announced his lawsuit just hours later. He said, “Just because you’re a business that has federal contracts, it’s not right for the federal government to come in and rewrite those contracts and then try to shoehorn this in.”
President Joe Biden signed two executive orders on Sept. 9 that require all federal employees or federal contractors to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 8 of this year. The announcement of the mandate was swiftly denounced by Republicans who promised legal action. Although a White House official implied on Wednesday that contractors could have flexibility in how they enforced the mandate, this wasn’t enough to keep the States from delivering on their promise.
In the official press release, DeSantis recalled that Biden once said that “it wouldn’t be appropriate or lawful” to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations from a federal level of government. He said, “The federal government is exceeding their power and it is important for us to take a stand…”
On Friday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R-Tex.) announced a separate lawsuit where he reiterated the belief that the federal government is not granted the power to enforce a mandate. He said, “If the President thinks his patience is wearing thin, he is clearly underestimating the lack of patience from Texans whose rights he is infringing.”
An additional ten states banded together in a joint petition filed on Friday, calling the executive orders a sweeping “power grab.” Arkansas, Alaska, Missouri, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming cited statistics that one-fifth of the U.S. workforce are affected by the mandate.
The petition further states: “And the mandate goes so far as to demand vaccination even from employees who work entirely within their own home. That is unconstitutional, unlawful, and unwise.”
Despite an appearance of these Republican-run states to oppose COVID-19 vaccination, the opposite is true for many of the petitioning Governors, like Asa Hutchinson (Ark.) who stated his belief that the vaccines work and are beneficial but that a mandate “increases the resistance of those who are hesitant.”
Hutchinson said, “I can’t make someone get vaccinated, and we will not overcome the challenge of hesitancy by mandates.”
Governor Kim Reynolds (Iowa) echoed his sentiments: “I believe the vaccine is the best defense against COVID-19, but no one should be forced to choose between making a living or standing up for their personal beliefs.”
These states join Arizona, which filed a similar lawsuit back in September.
Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia also announced on Friday his intent to file suit against the vaccination mandates. He stated: “Polling shows 70 percent of unvaccinated Americans say they would quit their jobs if their company required the COVID-19 vaccine. From an employer’s perspective, 9 in 10 fear significant reductions in their workforce if they had to implement vaccine mandates. We will not allow the Biden Administration to circumvent the law or force hardworking Georgians to choose between their livelihood or this vaccine.”
Georgia will jointly petition with Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, South Carolina, Utah, and West Virginia.