BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – President Joe Biden’s sweeping federal vaccine mandate that would require nearly 100 million Americans to get the shot has gotten a lot of attention from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
Republicans have voiced opposition against the President’s decision while Democrats say the President is doing what he can to protect people.
“Our nation is at war with a virus,” Representative Neil Rafferty said.
“You’ve got to have a very compelling case for the federal government to intervene,” Congressman Robert Aderholt said.
Congressman Aderholt believes there will be opposition from the courts on the President’s decision.
“The President of the United States where I think most Americans would have concern about it,” Aderholt said.
He thinks requiring companies to mandate COVID vaccines will do more harm than good.
“Who is going to pay for the testing, I think is also in question. Certainly, I assume the companies would. So, there is a lot of expense that’s going in it,” Aderholt said.
“So, we’re going to put a price tag on a life. On somebody who might get infected that can’t get the vaccine because they have a medical issue that would prevent them from getting it,” Rafferty said.
Representative Rafferty believes if people have medical or religious exemptions from vaccinations, they have that right. But he says what the President is trying to do paints a bigger picture.
“We need to start thinking about these children who are getting sick. Ending up in the hospital. Ending up on ventilator’s and dying,” Rafferty said.
Companies like Spire Energy responded to CBS 42 when asked their thoughts on the matter. They sent this statement:
“From the beginning of the pandemic, Spire has been committed to ensuring our co-workers, customers and communities stay safe. We’ll continue to follow guidance from the Centers of Disease Control and are currently reviewing these new guidelines.”
While both sides may disagree on how to get more shots in arms, they believe getting vaccinated is the right call.
“I have taken the vaccine. My wife has taken it,” Aderholt said.
“Because people who aren’t vaccinated are just little factories for other mutations and variants to emerge,” Rafferty said.
Congresswoman Terri Sewell also responded to the President’s decision. Below is her statement:
“The COVID-19 situation in Alabama is dire. As our ICU beds fill up and Alabamians continue to die needlessly, our vaccination rate has remained far too low. To date, over 12,000 Alabamians and 650,000 Americans have lost their lives to this virus. Clearly, action from our leaders is needed.
President Biden is once again stepping up to lead by meeting this moment with the urgency it demands. I support President Biden’s six-pronged science-based approach to end the spread of this virus. This is not about politics but about saving lives! Along with new vaccination requirements, the President’s comprehensive plan will keep our schools open safely, protect our economic recovery, and stop Americans from dying. In times of crisis, this is exactly what we elect a president to do.”