Parson says Missouri won’t help enforce Biden vaccine rule

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COLUMBIA, Mo. – Republican Missouri Governor Mike Parson said Thursday his administration will not help uphold President Joe Biden’s federal mandate on the COVID-19 vaccine in some limited cases.

Parson’s executive order prohibits his administration from enforcing the warrant or penalizing non-compliance, but only when people refuse the coronavirus vaccination for religious or medical reasons.

While Biden has argued that sweeping mandates will help end the deadly pandemic, Republicans across the country have opposed vaccination requirements and warned that they could exacerbate supply chain problems.

“These federal mandates pose a significant risk to our state’s economy and workforce and put public health at risk by increasing vaccine reluctance,” Parson wrote in his order.

Biden is expected to release details of the mandate’s implementation soon. The Democrat said companies with 100 or more employees will need to require all their employees to be vaccinated or undergo weekly tests. The mandate for federal contractors goes into effect in December and it has no testing option.

“Be clear, we continue to encourage all Missourians to get vaccinated,” Parson said. “We can support immunization without supporting mandates. We are issuing this ordinance to protect our system of government and the individual rights of Missourians to make their own health care decisions. “

Parson said Missouri, which ranks in the Last 10 states based on the percentage of the total population who have completed vaccinations, is doing well without warrants.

Nearly half of Missourians have been fully immunized, according to state health department data. Among the population eligible to be vaccinated, that of at least 12 years old, the vaccination rate is closer to 58%. More than 80% of Missourians 65 and older, who are considered at high risk for complications from COVID-19, are fully vaccinated.

Other Republican governors have taken similar positions against Biden’s vaccine requirement.

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey headed the state’s executive agencies on Monday not to cooperate with the federal mandate on the COVID-19 vaccine, to the extent possible. And Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a decree October 11 to ban private companies or any other entity from requiring vaccines.

Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis Thursday announced that the state is pursuing the Biden administration on the vaccine mandate for federal contractors, and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, said Wednesday he plans to sue as well.

Parson’s executive order also directs his administration to comply with any lawsuits brought by Schmitt against the federal vaccine mandate.

Read Parson’s decree in its entirety:


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