In a letter sent to Biden on Thursday, they said they are opposed to his attempt to require that private sector employees either get a COVID-19 shot, submit to weekly testing, or be fired.
The coalition of AGs outlined their legal and policy concerns with the mandate, which will be carried out through an Occupational Safety and Health Act emergency temporary standard.
The letter says the mandate is unlikely to win hearts and minds, but instead drive further skeptism.
It states in part: “You emphasized at your September 9 announcement that ‘the vaccines provide a very strong protection from severe illness of COVID-19’… And you said that ‘science makes clear’ that ‘if you’re fully vaccinated, you’re highly protected from severe illness, even if you get COVID-19.'”
It goes on to say: “The mandate however sends exactly the opposite signal: it suggests that the vaccinated need protection from those who, for whatever personal reason, chose not to or cannot receive a COVID-19 shot. That is hardly a statement of confidence in the efficacy of vaccines.”
In a press release today, the group of attorneys general say history has shown that the judicial branch is highly skeptical of the use of OSHA emergency temporary standards because of concerns about federalism and the separation of powers.
The letter explains further that the OSHA emergency temporary standard relates to work-related hazards, not all hazards that someone might come in contact with anywhere else in the world.
They also understand that Congress intended to “encourage employers and employees in their efforts to reduce the number of occupational safety and health hazards and their places of employment.”
The coalition of AGs says what’s most concerning is the potential to drive individuals out of the workforce, particularly health-care workers, who are most needed right now to fight the pandemic, according to the release.
The group also says in the release that this mandate ignores the tens of millions of Americans with natural immunity and will drive further skepticism of vaccines.
Ohio was joined on the letter by the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.