Gov. Holcomb calls President Biden’s vaccine mandate for businesses ‘a bridge too far’

Coronavirus

INDIANAPOLIS– Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb issued a statement Friday calling the COVID-19 mandates President Biden announced Thursday “a bridge too far.”

Under the president’s plan, companies with over 100 employees will now be required to make sure their workers are vaccinated. If they are not, they will be required to get tested weekly.

“Going into the private sector and mandating the private sector, no matter how many people they employ, is a bridge too far for me,” Gov. Holcomb said Friday morning while speaking with reporters.

Holcomb said he supports private businesses mandating the vaccine themselves if they choose.

“We have been encouraging employers to urge their employees to get vaccinated,” said Kevin Brinegar, president and CEO of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. “We do think that it should be the employers’ choice as to whether or not to require.”

President Biden said he’ll use the Defense Production Act to increase production of rapid tests, including those meant for home use.

Gov Holcomb issued the following statement in response:

“I believe the vaccine is the number one tool that will protect us and our loved ones against COVID-19. It is the tool that will end the pandemic. However, I strongly believe it’s not the state or federal government’s role to issue a vaccine mandate upon citizens and private businesses. This is the approach our administration has taken all along. The announcement from President Biden is a bridge too far. Private businesses should be able to look at their own mission, their staff and their goals and make the decision best for them that will keep their doors open.

“I believe it is fundamentally a citizen’s right to choose whether or not to get the vaccine. While I wish everyone would get the vaccine, we are a country built on this exact type of freedom.”

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb

The governor isn’t the only Indiana leader pushing back.

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita said he has spoken with other state attorneys general about blocking the mandate.

“We haven’t as a country or even as a state been in this place before,” Rokita said in an interview Friday morning, calling the federal requirements “unprecedented.”

He said he’s exploring all legal options.

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