The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)

Biden’s vaccine rules ignite instant GOP opposition


President Joe Biden’s aggressive push to require millions of U.S. workers to vaccinate against the coronaviru­s is running into a wall of resistance from Republican­s threatenin­g everything from lawsuits to civil disobedien­ce, plunging the country deeper into culture wars that have festered since the onset of the pandemic.

In South Carolina, Gov. Henry McMaster says he will fight “to the gates of hell to protect the liberty and livelihood of every South Carolinian.” South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, a potential 2024 presidenti­al candidate, says she is preparing a lawsuit. And J.D. Vance, a conservati­ve running for a U.S. Senate seat in Ohio, describes Biden’s move as Washington’s “attempt to bully and coerce citizens.”

“Do not comply with the mandates,” Vance says.

Biden is hardly backing down. In a visit to a school on Friday, he accused the governors of being “cavalier” with the health of American youngsters, and when asked about foes who would file legal challenges, he retorted, “Have at it.”

The opposition follows the new round of rules Biden outlined on Thursday in a new effort to tame the coronaviru­s by mandating that all employers with more than 100 workers require them to be vaccinated or test for the virus weekly, affecting about 80 million Americans. Another 17 million workers at health facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid also will have to be vaccinated.

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