Coronavirus, News

Gov. Kemp, AG Carr challenge Biden on latest COVID-19 vaccine mandate

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks during a news conference at the State Capitol on Saturday, April 3, 2021, in Atlanta. Kemp announced Tuesday that he and Attorney General Chris Carr are filing a lawsuit against the Biden administration over the latest COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare staff.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks during a news conference at the State Capitol on Saturday, April 3, 2021, in Atlanta. Kemp announced Tuesday that he and Attorney General Chris Carr are filing a lawsuit against the Biden administration over the latest COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare staff.
Credit Brynn Anderson / AP Photo
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Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Attorney General Chris Carr are challenging the latest COVID-19 vaccine mandate from the Biden administration.

Kemp, alongside Carr, announced in a news release Tuesday that his office has filed a lawsuit in response to an emergency regulation issued by Biden on Nov. 5 that would require all eligible staff at healthcare facilities that participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs to be fully vaccinated by Jan.4, 2022.

“After healthcare heroes went above and beyond the call of duty to keep Americans safe and healthy throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Joe Biden is now threatening their livelihood if they refuse COVID-19 vaccination,” Kemp said in the release. The mandate, he said, would only worsen a worker shortage in healthcare in the state.

“We will continue to fight this repeated, unconstitutional overreach by Joe Biden and his administration in court,” Kemp said.

Kemp joins 11 other Republican-controlled states in filing the lawsuit and it isn’t the first time the Kemp administration has taken to the courts to voice complaints about President Biden’s COVID vaccine rollouts.

Kemp and Carr filed suit on Nov. 5 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit to challenge the OSHA vaccine mandate for employers with 100 or more workers and have asked the court to stay the mandate.

Back in October, Kemp and Carr filed a similar suit, along with Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, South Carolina, Utah and West Virginia after Biden’s announcement of vaccine mandates for federal contractors. A hearing on that suit is currently scheduled for Dec. 7.

Only about 50% of Georgians are fully vaccinated, according to state data. Georgia has the eighth-lowest rate among states for COVID-19 vaccinations among people 12 and older, according to data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Gov. Kemp has publicly urged people to get vaccinated but has said in the past that the decision to get the vaccine is between a person and their doctor.