Gov. Kemp calls president’s newest COVID-19 vaccination plan ‘blatantly unlawful overreach’

ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp calls President Joe Biden’s latest plan to get more Americans vaccinated against COVID-19 “blatantly unlawful overreach.”

During a late afternoon news conference, Biden criticized the roughly 80 million Americans who are not yet vaccinated, despite months of availability and incentives.

“We’ve been patient. But our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us,” he said, all but biting off his words. The unvaccinated minority “can cause a lot of damage, and they are.”

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The expansive rules mandate that all employers with more than 100 workers require them to be vaccinated or test for the virus weekly, affecting about 80 million Americans. And the roughly 17 million workers at health facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid also will have to be fully vaccinated.

Biden is also signing an executive order to require vaccination for employees of the executive branch and contractors who do business with the federal government — with no option to test out. That covers several million more workers.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp quickly took to Twitter and said he will fight the new rules the president laid out.

“I will pursue every legal option available to the state of Georgia to stop this blatantly unlawful overreach by the Biden administration,” Kemp said.

Just two months ago Biden prematurely declared the nation’s “independence” from the virus. Now, despite more than 208 million Americans having at least one dose of the vaccines, the U.S. is seeing about 300% more new COVID-19 infections a day, about two-and-a-half times more hospitalizations, and nearly twice the number of deaths compared to the same time last year.

As of Thursday, there had been 1,144,884 confirmed cases of the virus in Georgia and 20,453 recorded deaths. When it comes to vaccinations, only 45% of Georgians are completely vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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