TULSA, Okla. — Oklahoma's top lawmakers made sweeping objections to President Joe Biden's new plan to get more Americans vaccinated against COVID-19.
Biden announced the plan on Thursday which includes requirements for vaccination or weekly negative COVID-19 tests for workers at companies that have more than 100 employees.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt called the plan "federal overreach," and said no such mandates will be put on Oklahomans while Stitt is in office.
Stitt publicly received the COVID-19 vaccine when it became available earlier this year.
“It is not the government’s role to dictate to private businesses what to do. Once again President Biden is demonstrating his complete disregard for individual freedoms and states’ rights. As long as I am governor, there will be no government vaccine mandates in Oklahoma. My administration will continue to defend Oklahoma values and fight back against the Biden administration’s federal overreach.”
U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) released a statement following the announcement, criticizing the portion that requires federal employees to get the vaccine.
Lankford says his family is vaccinated, but that it should remain a choice.
“My family and I chose to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and I am grateful for it. Every Oklahoman and American should have that same choice and option. Federal employees and contractors, members of our military, health care workers, and everyone else in our nation should be able to choose whether to get vaccinated. Period. The Biden proposal ignores the natural immunity millions of Americans have because they have recovered from COVID and the millions of other Americans that do not want to be forced to take a vaccine for a multitude of personal, religious, and medical reasons.”
U.S. Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK District 1) called the move part of a "march to socialism."
Hern has also been vaccinated.
“The federal government has once again overstepped into the lives and livelihoods of American citizens. Private companies, especially small businesses, are already suffocating under the oppressive restrictions put in place at the start of the public health emergency last year. My colleagues and I have warned of the slow march to socialism for years, and we were called liars for it. Turns out it’s not so much a slow march as it is a sprint. More restrictions, more mandates, more socialist policies are never the answer.”
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