Governor Ivey responds to President Biden’s new federal vaccine requirements

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 6:34 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 10, 2021 at 4:30 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Governor Kay Ivey responded to President Joe Biden’s announcement Thursday about sweeping new federal vaccine requirements.

Governor Ivey issued the following statement:

“Once again, President Biden has missed the mark. His outrageous, overreaching mandates will no doubt be challenged in the courts. Placing more burdens on both employers and employees during a pandemic with the rising inflation rates and lingering labor shortages is totally unacceptable.

“Alabamians have stepped up by rolling up their sleeves to get the covid-19 vaccine, increasing our doses administered significantly in recent weeks. We have done so without mandates from Washington D.C. or Montgomery. I’ve made it abundantly clear: I support the science and encourage folks taking the vaccine. However, I am absolutely against a government mandate on the vaccine, which is why I signed the vaccine passport ban into law here in Alabama. This is not the role of the government.

“I continue encouraging any Alabamian who can, to get the covid-19 vaccine. We have a safe and effective tool at our fingertips, so, let’s roll up our sleeves and get this thing beat.”

President Biden announced new federal vaccine requirements affecting as many as 100 million Americans in an all-out effort to increase COVID-19 vaccinations and curb the surging delta variant. The government’s expansive new rules, mandate that all employers with more than 100 workers require them to be vaccinated or test for the virus weekly, affecting about 80 million Americans.

President Biden is also signing an executive order requiring vaccination for all employees of the executive branch and contractors who do business with the federal government. No testing opt-out is expected to be included for the executive branch requirement.

Ivey updated her response following a call Friday with Republican governors:

“A conference call with Republican governors just wrapped up. President Biden has overreached with these new mandates, and we’re united in fighting back. I’m partnering alongside my conservative colleagues across the country in this fight. This is a fight for businesses, our hardworking men and women, and our American liberties.

“I encourage Alabamians to take the vaccine – have been since the beginning, but we’re never going to mandate it. And we certainly aren’t going to allow Washington, D.C. and this president to tell Alabama what to do. Here in Alabama, we don’t put up with that nonsense.”

Asked about potential legal challenges to the new vaccine requirements, President Biden responded, “Have at it.”

Wade F. Perry, Exec. Dir. of Alabama Democrats emailed this statement Thursday: “Governor Ivey’s hypocrisy here is astounding.

Alabama receives $6,694 per resident from the federal government annually, the seventh highest in the nation for a total of $65.8 billion. We are home to federal agencies, federal contractors, and there are over 50,000 Alabamians employed by the federal government. Alabama couldn’t function without Washington.

Further, Ivey requested and received emergency federal assistance that is currently on the ground in Alabama saving lives in rural hospitals, as well as portable morgues to stack the bodies of dead Alabamians who died because of her lack of leadership and refusal to expand Medicaid.

Now is not the time for feigned outrage or political rhetoric. Getting mad and throwing a tantrum is not what leaders do. We’ve needed real leadership throughout this pandemic and Kay Ivey has failed us. 12,552 Alabamians have died from COVID-19. For these neighbors, there will be no more birthdays, weddings, graduations, and holidays celebrated - only an empty seat at the family table for a generation.

Governor, quit playing your political games and work with Washington to find solutions to get folks to take the shot. Lives are on the line. It’s time to be a leader, not a Wallace wannabe.”

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