Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts said Sunday that Republican attorneys general from across the country are mobilizing court challenges to President Biden’s vaccine mandate.
“I’ve been talking to my attorney general; he is coordinating with the other attorneys general across the country who share similar views about the overreach,” Mr. Ricketts, a Republican, said in an interview with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday. “As we see what these rules are, we will be able to know precisely how we will be able to challenge them in court.
Apart from legal proceedings, Mr. Ricketts said he and other chief executives across the county are exploring various “strategies” to combat the mandate.
Last week, the White House announced new regulations requiring private companies with more than 100 employees to mandate vaccinations. The Biden administration says the action will force more than 100 million Americans across federal agencies, large businesses, and healthcare to get inoculated against the virus.
The mandate is part of a six-step plan the White House is proposing to combat the virus, killing 1,500 Americans per day. “What more is there to wait for? What more do you need to see?” Mr. Biden said last week. “We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin.”
While the White House has unveiled the mandate, the exact manner in how it will be implemented remains vague. Mr. Biden’s COVID-19 response coordinator, Jeff Zients, said the order is legal and likely overseen by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
“If a workplace refuses to follow the standard, the OSHA fines can be quite significant. Enforcement actions include fines up to $13,600 per violation,” Mr. Zients said.
Mr. Ricketts argues, however, that such penalties are excessive and place the jobs of millions of Americans at risk.
“We have been encouraging people to get vaccinated. We’ve been providing information encouraging people to reach out to their neighbors because vaccines work and they will help people,” he said. “This is not something that the government should mandate, and somebody shouldn’t have to make a choice between keeping their job and getting a job in the arm.”
U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy disagrees. During an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” Dr. Murthy argued that the only to eradicate the coronavirus was by using every weapon at the government’s disposal.
“What the president and all of us have said as public health leaders from the earliest part of this pandemic is that we have to use every lever of government, and we all in the private sector have to do everything we can to tackle this virus,” he said. “The requirements the president announced are an example of that.”