Democratic Gov. Opposes Biden Vaccine Mandate: It's Not the 'Most Effective Solution'

Michael Foust | Contributor | Monday, November 8, 2021
Democratic Gov. Opposes Biden Vaccine Mandate: It's Not the 'Most Effective Solution'

Democratic Gov. Opposes Biden Vaccine Mandate: It's Not the 'Most Effective Solution'

A prominent Democrat and Republican who have largely supported the Biden administration's war on COVID-19 are opposing his vaccine/testing mandate, saying it's not the most effective way to get the nation inoculated.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, announced on Friday her opposition to the mandate, which forces large employers to require that their employers receive the vaccine or face regular testing and mandatory masking. The administration's rule applies to employers with 100 or more workers.

Kelly, after reviewing the rule, said she opposes it.

"While I appreciate the intention to keep people safe, a goal I share, I don't believe this directive is the correct, or the most effective, solution for Kansas," Kelly said. "States have been leading the fight against COVID-19 from the start of the pandemic. It is too late to impose a federal standard now that we have already developed systems and strategies that are tailored for our specific needs.

"I will seek a resolution that continues to recognize the uniqueness of our state and builds on our on-going efforts to combat a once-in-a-century crisis," Kelly added.

As of Monday, 80 percent of U.S. adults and 79 percent of Americans ages 12 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Data out of Mississippi, which was hard hit by the virus, showed that 87 percent of COVID hospitalizations and 87 percent of COVID deaths in August were among those not fully vaccinated.

Scott Gottlieb, who served as commissioner of the FDA during the Trump administration, told CBS he worries the mandate will spark a backlash against all vaccines. Gottlieb has applauded the Biden administration's approach to vaccine distribution.

"The public health implications I worry about is that the opposition that's forming to those COVID mandates is going to bleed into opposition to other kinds of vaccine mandates, and things that we've long come to accept – like mandates on childhood immunization for school, even mandates on healthcare workers," Gottlieb told Face the Nation. "People are going to start to oppose. They're not going to parse opposition to mandates on this COVID vaccine, to mandates to other kinds of vaccines. And you're going to see vaccine uptake generally start to decline. That's what I worry about.

"I think from a public policy standpoint," he added, "we need to ask ourselves, what is our goal? We've vaccinated about 81 percent of adults over the age of 18. Where do we need to get to, and what price are we willing to pay in terms of cultural divide, acrimony, challenges?"

Gottlieb asked on Twitter, "Were there less divisive ways to achieve these goals?"


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Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/nevodka

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.