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NH attorney general echoes GOP’s opposition to Biden vaccine, testing rules

New Hampshire Bulletin
Published: 9/17/2021 10:09:50 PM
Modified: 9/17/2021 10:09:58 PM

Editor’s Note: This story was first published on New Hampshire Bulletin.

WASHINGTON — More than 20 Republican state attorneys general, including New Hampshire’s John Formella, are threatening to sue the Biden administration over its mandate that large employers require their employees to either be vaccinated against the coronavirus or undergo weekly testing.

In a Thursday letter, the 24 AGs pushed the administration to remove the requirement that could affect nearly 80 million Americans and instead let employees make their own decisions on vaccinations.

On Sept. 9, President Joe Biden instructed the Department of Labor to issue a temporary emergency rule under the Occupational Safety and Health Act to mandate that employers either put in place a vaccine requirement, mandate weekly COVID-19 testing or fire employees who refuse to get vaccinated.

He later met with business leaders “who champion vaccine mandates that will … make sure that we keep businesses open and workers safe,” he said, underlining the mandate support from a traditionally Republican group.

The state attorneys general argue that Biden’s mandate is not legal.

Along with New Hampshire, those states include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.

They argue that to justify OSHA’s emergency standard, the administration needs to prove that employees are exposed to grave danger.

However, some studies have shown that COVID-19 infections are rapidly increasing in children. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that as of Sept. 9, nearly 5.3 million children have tested positive since the beginning of the pandemic and 243,000 cases were added in one week in September, the second-highest number in a week since the pandemic began.

The academy says that “at this time, it appears that severe illness due to COVID-19 is uncommon among children. However, there is an urgent need to collect more data on longer-term impacts of the pandemic on children, including ways the virus may harm the long-term physical health of infected children, as well as its emotional and mental health effects.”

Nearly 700,000 Americans have died of COVID-19, and there have been more than 44 million cases of the virus. Some of those who have recovered from the virus have suffered from long-haul COVID-19 symptoms, as reported by the Atlantic.

The state AGs also argue that putting in place vaccine requirements is “likely to increase skepticism of vaccines.”

More than 180 million Americans, or at least half the U.S. population, are fully vaccinated.




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