On Friday, writing for The Washington Post, conservative columnist Max Boot tore into Republican governors for their attacks on President Joe Biden's new vaccine rules for employers — and argued that they are proving exactly why Biden was right to move forward with this plan.
After Biden's announcement on Thursday, several Republican governors blew up, with Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) vowing to protect Texans' "right to choose whether they get the COVID vaccine," Gov. Doug Ducey (R-AZ) calling Biden's order "dictatorial," and Gov. Kevin Stitt (R-OK) vowing to defy the rules, among several others. No matter, noted Boot, that OSHA — the workplace agency responsible for the rule — regulates every aspect of worker safety already, right down to "the placement of step bolts."
"Perhaps the GOP simply objects to the government telling any business what to do?" wrote Boot. "Except, oops, Republican governors and legislatures are doing precisely that when they tell private companies that they can't ask for proof of vaccination. At least six red states — Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Montana, North Dakota and Texas — have prohibited most companies from demanding 'vaccine passports.' So, apparently, Republicans think it's okay for the government to force businesses to surrender to a deadly pandemic but it's not okay for the government to mandate that businesses protect their employees and customers."
This sort of irrational partisanization of a pandemic, argued Boot, is exactly why the president needed to step in.
"Republican governors don't seem to mind killing their constituents in the name of a twisted theory of 'medical freedom,' but that doesn't mean the president of the United States is helpless to protect the life and well-being of its citizens," wrote Boot. "Biden has given up the hope that he could reason with covid-deniers and anti-vaxxers. The Republican reaction to his sensible mandate shows that much of the right is beyond the reach of reason. It is now time to use federal power to protect the most basic of civil rights — the right to life."
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