MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — The battle over vaccine mandates continues to be a political hotspot that has divided both Democrats and Republicans nationwide.
Republican Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville said the mandate is one of the biggest federal overreaches of his lifetime.
“People are losing their jobs. It’s going against some people’s religions. I have friends that have underlying conditions that a doctor tells them do not take the vaccine, but they are still being told by Joe Biden and the federal government to take it. It is wrong,” Tuberville said in his weekly press briefing Wednesday.
While maintaining that he himself was vaccinated and encouraged all eligible Alabamians to get the vaccine, Tuberville said it shouldn’t come at the expense of one’s freedom of choice.
“People should not be told you have to take it or lose your job,” he said. “That’s just wrong as an American.”
State Sen. Linda Coleman-Madison, D-Birmingham, agreed that Alabamians do have a choice to not get vaccinated, but that that choice could come with consequences.
“Your rights stop right where mine begins,” Coleman-Madison said. “You have a choice not to be vaccinated, you don’t have a choice to spread the diseased to me.”
Coleman-Madison said the COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything in modern history.
“We are the government; we are supposed to be protecting the general population,” she said. “And I think the mandate protects the general population.”
Coleman-Madison also stressed disappointment that while many choose to not get vaccinated, these same people have no issue taking up hospital resources or expecting their health insurance to pay for their hospitals bills due to their infections.