Celebration and concern in Oklahoma over President Biden’s new COVID-19 vaccination plan

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – President Biden’s plan to get more Americans vaccinated has met both support and backlash. The plan requires employers with more than 100 employees to mandate vaccines or have workers tested every week.

“We have been patient, but our patience is running out and your refusal has cost us all,” Biden said.

Part of that reaction comes from the State Chamber of Commerce. They oppose the president’s plan.

In the meantime, a 21-year-old labor and employment lawyer told KFOR that opinions on both sides are strong.

“I think it’s going to remain an issue, and it’s going to remain a division issue within the workplace,” said Mary Snyder of Crowe & Dunlevy Attorney.

President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House, Thursday, September 9, 2021, in Washington. Biden announces sweeping new federal vaccine requirements affecting up to 100 million Americans in a total effort to increase COVID-19 vaccinations and curb the increase in the delta variant. (AP Photo / Andrew Harnik)

The president announced Thursday night that OSHA would require employers with more than 100 workers to get vaccinated or tested every week.

The announcement worries the Association of Oklahoma General Contractors.

“The first thing I thought about was empty work areas, and that scared me not only for our businesses but for the traveling public,” said Bobby Stem with the executive director of the Oklahoma Association of General Contractors. “If you take a team of 50 and use 10-15%, that team can no longer work on that road or that bridge because everyone is essential to this mission. “

The trade group said KFOR road workers are being forced to get vaccinated or have weekly drug tests, and many will quit their jobs. It could be devastating with the current shortage of entrepreneurs, according to Stem.

“Employers, if this mandate goes into effect, employers who have more than 100 employees will be required to do so,” Snyder said.

Governor Kevin Stitt was quick to attack Biden’s plan, releasing the statement below shortly after the president spoke:

“It is not the role of government to dictate to private companies what to do. Once again, President Biden demonstrates his utter disregard for individual freedoms and the rights of states. As long as I am governor, there will be no government mandate for vaccines in Oklahoma. My administration will continue to stand up for Oklahoma values ​​and fight the federal excess of the Biden administration. “

GOV. KEVIN STITT

Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor announced litigation plans in the following statement:

“We respect the right of Oklahoma businesses and individuals to make health care decisions for themselves and their families. My office will vigorously oppose any attempt by the federal government to impose vaccines. We prepare litigation to defend our rights and defend the rule of law against the excesses of the federal government. “

JOHN O’CONNOR, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF OKLAHOMA

But not everyone is against the new plan, according to Snyder.

“Many will love to see workplaces 100% vaccinated,” Snyder said.

Biden said in a video statement that some of the country’s biggest companies, including United Airlines, Disney and Tyson Foods, are requiring vaccinations.

But that doesn’t stop many states from threatening to sue to stop the temporary emergency standard once it’s in place.

“I don’t think it’s going to go away anytime soon,” Snyder said. “I meant to say that the entrepreneurs, the healthcare providers, President Biden have issued an executive order so tied to spending powers, so these people have to deal with that already.”

President Biden goes even further. The TSA will now double the fines if you refuse to wear a mask.

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