Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer calls Biden vaccine mandate a ‘problem’ for business
The state government is “also an employer,” Whitmer said during a stop in Howard City, according to a report from the Greenville Daily News.
“I know that if this mandate is fulfilled, we will lose state employees,” continued the governor. “That’s why I didn’t come up with a (state) mandate. We have a lot of the same concernsâ¦ it’s going to be a problem for all of us.”
Whitmer’s office did not respond directly to follow-up questions from Bridge Michigan, which sought clarification on its comments and position on Biden’s proposed tenure. Instead, spokesperson Bobby Leddy sent out a broad statement.
âOur top priority remains to slow the spread of COVID-19 so that businesses can keep their doors open, schools can keep students in classrooms, and the state can continue our strong economic progress,â Leddy said.
“While the federal government’s vaccine rule is currently suspended, Governor Whitmer continues to urge Michiganders to receive one of the safe and effective vaccines because it is the best way for Michiganders to protect themselves and keep our economy growing. “
Whitmer, a first-term Democrat, is a key ally of Biden, serving as the national co-chair of his campaign and nomination. She issued aggressive business shutdown orders at the start of the pandemic, but resisted the reimposition of government restrictions during the state’s latest COVID-19 wave.
Michigan ranked first in the country in COVID-related hospitalizations on Monday, first for test positivity rate and fourth for total case rate, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The federal vaccine mandate, which is mired in legal limbo, would require private companies with 100 or more employees to ensure their workers are vaccinated or submit weekly test results by Jan.4.
A second vaccine mandate is for companies that work under federal contracts, including medical systems that charge for Medicare and Medicaid and universities that accept federal research funding.
Between the two terms, announced by Biden on Set. 8, more than 40 percent of Michigan’s workforce, some 2 million workers, expected to be in some form of tenure.
Mandates are divisive, as polls show support from a slim majority – 52 to 55 percent – while 40 to 47 percent oppose them, according to the November and December polls.
Michigan business groups have called on the Biden administration to reconsider the policy, saying it comes as employers struggle to hire enough workers and the government should not establish a vaccination policy for them. employers.
Many are celebrating Whitmer’s recent comments.
“Joe Biden didn’t listen / don’t care,” wrote Rich Studley, president and CEO of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. Tuesday on Twitter. “The governor has heard us and is listening to us.”
Many business groups expected the lawsuits to interrupt federal mandates, but some of their members still stuck to the deadlines and faced challenges from workers.
âWe had a number of members (who)â¦. have lost employees because some people just won’t get the vaccine, âJohn Walsh, president and CEO of the Michigan Manufacturers Association, told Bridge. âPolice, firefighters and healthcare workers have already proven it across the country. “
Michigan’s Republican-led legislature is backing a multi-state lawsuit that has so far blocked the term. In court records last month, attorneys for the Michigan House and Senate called the policy an “unprecedented intrusion into sovereign policing power historically reserved for the state.”