Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt (R) and Attorney General John O’Connor spoke out on Thursday to blast the pending vaccine mandate for businesses with over one hundred employees put in place by President Joe Biden.
“This action is not just federal overreach; it’s unconstitutional,” Stitt said in a statement. “Getting the vaccine is a personal choice.”
O’Connor called on state employers to ignore Biden’s efforts to enact a vaccine mandate.
“In the event, federal emergency rules are issued that place such an unlawful demand upon employers. Our office will be joined by other state attorneys general across the country to quickly sue and seek an injunction against any implementation or enforcement” of a mandate, O’Connor said in a statement of his own, according to The Intelligencer.
OCPA reported that Stitt pointed out that the Biden vaccine mandate would “force Americans to choose between a vaccine and their job,” including many front-line workers who are fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The people this is affecting aren’t just statistics. They’re real Oklahomans with real concerns,” Stitt said. “They’re brave nurses and caretakers. They’re expecting mothers and fathers. They’re first responders and brave law enforcement.”
Stitt went on to say that he has “heard from thousands of employees across the state who feel they’ve been dealt an unfair hand,” including “pregnant, soon-to-be mothers who are faced with an impossible choice: Get the vaccine or lose your job.”
While Stitt said that he is vaccinated, he also said that getting the vaccine “is a personal choice. Period.”
“We know the COVID vaccine is our best defense against severe illness,” Stitt continued. “But static, one-size-fits-all mandates simply do not fit the reality we are in today.”
“I don’t believe it’s the government’s job to dictate policies to private companies,” he added. “Just as I believe Joe Biden can’t tell businesses they have to mandate a vaccine. I don’t believe the government should tell a company they can’t. Businesses should have the freedom to make decisions based on their circumstances.”
That being said, Stitt said that businesses should “allow exemptions for religious, medical, or personal reasons,” and O’Connor agreed with him.
“Oklahomans should have the right to make their own personal health decisions for themselves and their families,” O’Connor said. “Employers that are mandating vaccines are unfortunately doing so upon their own initiative. Religious, medical, and personal exemptions should be uniformly approved by those employers at the very least.”