Gov. Cox leads top Utah state Republicans in opposing vaccination mandates for federal contractors and their employees

File image: Utah Gov. Spencer Cox/Facebook video screensaver

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Oct. 30, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Gov. Spencer J. Cox and six other top Utah Republican state leaders say they “are united in joining the lawsuit” that opposes a federal mandate requiring COVID-19 vaccination for federal contractors and their employees.

The lawsuit asserts President Joe Biden overstepped his legal authority in issuing an executive order on Sept. 14, 2021, which requires employees of federal contractors to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by early December.

In addition to Cox, Utah Republicans Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson, Attorney General Sean D. Reyes, Senate President J. Stuart Adams, House Speaker Brad Wilson, State Auditor John Dougall, and State Treasurer Marlo M. Oaks, joined in the prepared statement released by the governor’s office Saturday morning.

The statement comes just one day after the Utah Department of Health reported the state’s intensive care units were officially overwhelmed, and referral facilities that handle the majority of COVID-19 cases were operating at 101.4 percent capacity.

“We must take a stand for hardworking Utahns who are being forced to either get the vaccine or lose their jobs,” the GOP leaders’ statement said in the Saturday press release.

“The president is making a habit out of reaching beyond the limits of his authority. In doing so, he is unnecessarily exacerbating stress on the supply chain, damaging the economy, forcing workers to leave jobs and hurting American families. We cannot stand idly by and allow President Biden and his administration to impose yet another reckless and illegal executive action,” the statement said.

The press release also maintains, “President Biden continues to push his policies through unconstitutional means,” while noting employees of federal contractors make up one-fifth of the U.S. workforce. The complaint also claims the Dec. 8 compliance deadline announced in early September only gives employees “mere days” to complete their one- or two-shot vaccination process.

Biden’s executive order was issued as the U.S. saw a dramatic surge in COVID-19 cases driven by the Delta variant, which continues to take a deeply disproportionate toll among the unvaccinated. That finding was advanced yet again in a study released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Despite the reported resistance to the vaccination mandates, a new Gallup poll published Friday shows public support is growing for Biden’s order, with 56 percent of U.S. employees now in favor of vaccine mandates, up from 46 percent in May. Thirty-seven percent of employees stand opposed to the public health mandates.

A total of 19 states, have filed or joined lawsuits in attempt block the federal mandate involving federal contractors and their employees, including: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Each of the states participating in the lawsuits, with the exception of New Hampshire, voted for Donald Trump in the 2020 election.  

To read the West Virginia based lawsuit that Utah’s GOP leaders have joined, click here.

Screensaver image: Utah Department of Health – published 10/29/21

*The original headline of this article has been updated to further specify the states’ lawsuits apply to Biden’s executive order as it pertains to federal contractors and their employees.

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