Republican Governors Seek to Galvanize Base Over Vaccine Mandates U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about combatting the coronavirus pandemic in the State Dining Room of the White House on September 9, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty)
By Peter Malbin | Monday, 13 September 2021 11:32 AM
President Joe Biden's newly announced vaccine mandates are galvanizing the Republican base for the 2022 midterm elections, reports The Hill.
"I think this is going to be a motivating factor," Keith Naughton, a Republican strategist, told the news outlet. "In an off-year election it's always hard to get people to turn out for the president except in a crisis, but you do get the people who are angry with him to turn out."
The expansive rules mandate that all employers with more than 100 workers require them to be vaccinated or test for the virus weekly, affecting about 80 million Americans. And the roughly 17 million workers at health facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid also will have to be fully vaccinated.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in a tweet called the mandates "an assault on private business." The Republican National Committee said it would sue the Biden administration over the mandates.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said Biden had "missed the mark."
"His outrageous, overreaching mandates will no doubt be challenged in the courts," she said.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, and Iowa Gov. Kim Richards have also criticized the order.
As the Delta variant spreads, the U.S. is now recording 151,000 new cases of COVID-19 each day, the highest numbers since January, according to Johns Hopkins University. Unvaccinated individuals make up the overwhelming number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals. There have been some breakthrough cases among vaccinated people, mainly causing mild symptoms.
Republicans are more likely to be opposed to mandates than Democrats. A poll conducted by Politico and Morning Consult found that over 80 percent of Democrats are in favor of vaccine requirements, but only 35 percent of Republicans favor mandates.
"There's also a lot of Republicans who are vaccinated and want everyone to be vaccinated. Like I said, I just don't think it cuts clearly along party lines," said Naughton, the Republican strategist.
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