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Gov. DeWine says Biden's vaccine mandate is a 'mistake' despite saying it's 'best tool to stop COVID-19'

Dewine
Posted at 1:55 PM, Sep 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-10 13:55:20-04

CLEVELAND — Following President Joe Biden’s announcement of a new emergency rule requiring vaccinations or weekly testing at businesses with 100 or more employees, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine responded to the vaccine mandate Friday, calling it a “mistake.”

“I think the President made a mistake by announcing federal vaccine mandates. We should be focused on the science of preventing virus spread - the vaccine is our best tool to stop COVID - but people and business owners should make their own decisions about vaccination,” DeWine said from his verified Twitter account Friday.

On Thursday, Biden signed executive orders to require all federal executive branch works to be vaccinated and the standard will be extended to employees of contractors that do business with the federal government.

Even when cases started to rise during the last month, DeWine called on schools to require masks and urged parents to get their children vaccinated, if they qualify, but always stopped short of announcing any new mandates, saying it was a decision that should be made at the local level.

RELATED: DeWine alarmed at COVID numbers as school year starts, urges vaccinations and masks for kids

In June, Senate Bill 22, which blocks the health department from issuing any kind of stay-at-home order like those we saw at the beginning of the pandemic, went into effect. It also allows the 132 lawmakers in the General Assembly to vote down health orders or emergency declarations without needing the governor’s approval.

RELATED: New pandemic law takes effect; experts say it undermines public health

On Thursday, News 5 spoke to Sharona Hoffman, a professor of law and bioethics at Case Western Reserve University, who said the Biden administration’s new rules are a needed step in the fight against the coronavirus. However, it may be difficult to enforce.

“It’s going to be difficult to enforce because we’re now reaching employers all over the country. There is no centralized system right now for employers to report that [they] have 100% of their employees vaccinated,” Hoffman said. “If you don’t have an easy way to report that, how are you going to catch people that are not complying? What are you going to do about it?”

Attorney General Dave Yost also reacted Friday to the mandate.

Ohio’s top doctors Thursday reiterated what has been said before, that vaccinations will be the key to getting the delta surge under control.

“The way out of this pandemic…is immunity,” said Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, medical director of the Ohio Department of Health. According to the doctor, the safest and most reliable way to gain that immunity is through vaccination. As more Ohioans get vaccinated, it could turn the virus into “something that is more endemic and more mild in its nature."

RELATED: Biden's vaccine mandate likely to be difficult to enforce while drawing legal challenges

Ohio's top doctors say vaccination is key to ending pandemic

Visit our Vaccinating Ohio page for the latest updates on Ohio's vaccination program, including links to sign up for a vaccine appointment, a map of nearby vaccination sites, a detailed breakdown of the state's current vaccine phase, and continuing local coverage of COVID-19 vaccines in Northeast Ohio.

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