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Biden announces new vaccine mandates; Graves speaks out about them

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 9:33 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - President Joe Biden announced on Thursday, September 9 new federal vaccine requirements that could impact as many as 100 million Americans.

The new requirements are to curb the surging Delta variant.

Speaking at the White House, Biden sharply criticized the tens of millions of Americans who are not yet vaccinated, despite months of availability and incentives.

“We’ve been patient. But our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us,” he said, all but biting off his words. The unvaccinated minority “can cause a lot of damage, and they are.”

The expensive rules mandate that all employers with more than 100 workers will require them to be vaccinated or test the virus weekly.

The new rule would be affecting 80 million Americans.

Biden is also requiring vaccination for employees of the executive branch and contractors who do business with the federal government with no option to test out.

“This is not about freedom or personal choice. It’s about protecting yourself and those around you, the people you work with the people you care about the people you love,” Biden said.

Rep. Garrett Graves is among the public officials criticizing the approach. He released this statement:

“Within the past year, President Biden expressed opposition to mandatory vaccinations. He now appears to have reversed course. We agree that the virus needs to be taken seriously, but do not support the government being allowed to force people to inject something into their bodies.”

People in the Baton Rouge area also weighing in.

“Well, my thoughts are that it’s a severe overreach,” Jeff Wittenbrink said. “These blanketed kinds of statements to try to force this thing on the entire country, I think is unconstitutional and I think it’s really misguided.”

There are those who stand somewhere in the middle.

“I just think everybody should have a choice,” Corey Sims said. “To each its own, and I think it should stay that way. If you want the vaccine and you’re for it, get it. If not, then I think you should have the choice to do what’s best for you.”

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