WASHINGTON (WDVM) — West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito is taking aim at President Biden’s vaccine mandate during a Senate GOP press conference on Wednesday. In September, Biden issued an executive order requiring federal contractors and subcontractors mandating they get a COVID vaccine in order to stay in compliance with workplace safety guidelines developed by a federal task force.
The task force issued guidelines that new, renewed, or extended contracts include a clause requiring employees to be fully vaccinated by January 18, meaning those receiving a two-dose vaccine must get their second shot by January 4. The guidelines only allowed exceptions for medical or religious reasons.
“This is an invasion into their own abilities to make decisions about themselves and their health care. Encouraging and requiring are two different things.”Sen. Capito explained during a Senate GOP press conference
Now, the Mountain State senator is urging President Biden to stay true to his word on the federal vaccine mandate. She recalled that just last year, he stated that a vaccine mandate would not be necessary, but has since reneged and imposed one anyway. She says that the nationwide mandate will not only affect working families across the country but especially in the Mountain State.
“So if you look at my state 40% of my state’s workforce stands to lose their job under this mandate,” Sen. Capito explained. “Those are manufacturing jobs, those are public service jobs, those are small business, smaller businesses jobs. It’s all across the spectrum.”
Senator Capito is not the only one to oppose the mandate from West Virginia. Attorney General Patrick Morrisey joined Attorneys General from 6 other states to block the mandate for federal contractors which was supposed to take effect on December 8th. The lawsuit was filed in a district court in Georgia and was backed by the Attorneys General from Alabama, Idaho, Georgia, Kansas, South Carolina, Utah, and West Virginia.
“The last thing in the world we need to do is to have people react to these unlawful proposals coming out of Washington and then make their own policies consistent with that,” Attorney General Morrisey explained. “Let’s take the time to have care with your employees and do this the right way.”
Both Sen. Capito and Attorney General Morrisey stressed that they are not against the vaccine in any way and have encouraged their residents to get vaccinated. However, they agreed that the decision to receive the vaccine should be left to the recipient, not the federal government.