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Governor Brad Little on President Biden’s proposed employer vaccine mandate

In part two of a conversation Idaho Governor Brad Little had with KMVT, he spoke about the COVID-19 vaccine as well as President Biden’s proposed employer vaccine mandate
Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 10:40 AM MDT
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BOISE, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — In part two of a conversation Idaho Governor Brad Little had with KMVT, he spoke about the COVID-19 vaccine as well as President Biden’s proposed employer vaccine mandate.

Little said he believes data shows the COVID-19 vaccine to be safe and effective, and that those with questions or concerns should consult with their doctor. He termed one’s choice on whether to get the vaccine a “very personal decision.”

“I want people to get vaccinated, but I want them to choose to do it,” Little said.

This is in stark contrast to President Biden’s proposed employer vaccine mandate. Announced on Sept. 9 as part of Biden’s COVID-19 Action Plan, the mandate would require vaccines or timely tests at businesses with 100 or more employees.

“Like a lot of things, it’s the federal government taking a piece of law and expanding it outside the realm where it was the intent of Congress,” Little said.

The mandate, which the White House said will impact over 80 million workers in private sector businesses, is being developed under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Little said he does not feel a vaccine mandate would fall under OSHA’s original scope.

“It was safety on factory lines, it was asbestos in the workplace,” said Little. “I would hazard to guess that when that piece of legislation was passed, it was not at all the intention.”

This comes at a time when the vaccination rate in Idaho remains low, ranking ahead of only Alabama and West Virginia nationally. While Biden’s proposal could lead to an increased vaccination rate, Little said he is concerned about it coming at the cost of personal choice and the precedent that could set.

“If the [Biden] administration does this, if somebody files suit isn’t successful and it becomes kind of a judicial add-on, then it will be one more area where the free flow of commerce is interrupted,” Little said.

The governor instead suggested allowing local leaders or private sector businesses to make their own decisions, saying Idahoans are more likely to listen to those in their own neighborhood.

“People are more inclined to be sympathetic to who they see at church, at the grocery store and at ball games than they are myself or particularly more than somebody from the federal government,” Little said. “It might be different in some other states, but in Idaho, it’s just part of everyone’s DNA.”

If you missed Part 1 of Governor Brad Little’s conversation with KMVT about the COVID-19 pandemic, watch here: Part 1

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