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South Carolina’s Republican Attorney General Alan Wilson has joined 23 other state attorneys general to warn the Biden administration that if their newly-announced vaccine mandate plan takes effect they will sue.
The warning letter, sent Thursday, is aimed at stopping the implementation of a vaccine mandate plan announced by the Biden administration last week. It, among other requirements, would require companies with more than 100 employees to ensure workers are vaccinated or tested for COVID-19 each week.
“Regardless of how you feel about vaccines, President Biden’s edict is illegal and if the administration doesn’t change course we’ll pursue every legal option to strike it down,” Wilson, a Republican, said in a statement Thursday. “I’m fully vaccinated and encourage everyone who can to get the shot, but this is a question of following the law. We think it will also mean fewer people will get vaccinated, which we’ve already seen in New York, where health care workers quit because of New York’s vaccine mandate.”
Wilson was joined by attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Last week, President Joe Biden announced a new vaccine mandate plan, which, in part, would require thousands of private sector workers get vaccinated.
The plan would order the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration to require companies with more than 100 employees to ensure workers are vaccinated or tested for COVID-19 each week.
In all, the mandate is expected to impact more than 100 million workers across the country.
The order sparked instant backlash from Republicans and business community conservatives.
Gov. Henry McMaster vowed to fight the mandate “to the gates of hell,” just one day after it was issued.
“The American Dream has turned into a nightmare under President Biden and the radical Democrats,” McMaster tweeted. “They have declared war against capitalism, thumbed their noses at the Constitution, and empowered our enemies abroad.”
McMaster has long said that preventing the spread of COVID-19 should be left up to “personal responsibility,” and the governor has actively fought against local mandates aimed at slowing the virus.
However, as of Thursday, only 50% of South Carolinians eligible to be vaccinated against the coronavirus have received both doses of the vaccine. About 58.8% of eligible South Carolinians have received at least one dose, according to the state Department of Health and Environmental Control.
This story will be updated.