When it comes to COVID-19, President Joe Biden wants to do to the world what he’s done to the United States, according to Biden-appointed Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy.
Last week, Biden announced he would use his power through federal rule-making authority to require that private businesses with more than 100 employees impose a vaccine mandate on their workers. He also is imposing a mandate on federal workers and federal contractors.
During an interview Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Murthy said Biden’s actions “are not the only set of aggressive actions that we have taken in the administration.”
President Biden will announce his next steps to boost the global vaccine supply before this year’s UN General Assembly begins, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said https://t.co/PcDZJkfk8x
— Bloomberg (@business) September 12, 2021
“There will be more actions that we continue to work on in the days ahead, and especially on the global front, where we will be taking steps, and the president will be making announcements ahead of the U.N. General Assembly about additional measures that we’re taking to help vaccinate the world,” he said.
The General Assembly opens its session on Tuesday, according to Reuters, with general debate scheduled to begin next week.
A report in Politico said Biden is expected to call for a global summit on COVID-19.
Murthy said that in terms of Americans seeking exemptions to the rules, “we have got to be vigilant there and make sure that people are using them in the spirit that they’re intended, and not abusing them or asking for exemptions when they don’t apply. That will be an area that we continue to monitor in the days and weeks ahead.”
On Sunday, Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the harder Biden pushes to force his will on the American people, the harder some will push back.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said that President Biden’s new vaccine mandate will “increase the division” between the unvaccinated and the vaccinated https://t.co/FBxD0GKxkQ pic.twitter.com/yN722CZArF
— The Hill (@thehill) September 12, 2021
“We have to overcome resistance,” he said, according to CNN.
“This is a very serious, deadly virus and we’re all together in trying to get an increased level of vaccination out in the population. The problem is that I’m trying to overcome resistance, but the president’s actions in a mandate hardens the resistance,” he said.
Biden’s action was “an unprecedented assumption of federal mandate authority,” Hutchinson said, adding that “it increases the division in terms of vaccination when we should all be together trying to increase the vaccination uptake.”
Hutchinson said that despite indications from the Biden administration that the mandate is welcome, he has not seen that.
“I’m not aware of any governor from any state that said we want to mandate businesses to require vaccination,” he said. “I support businesses being able to require vaccination but it’s their own independent choice for their workplace.”
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie offered a similar comment on ABC’s “This Week.”
Is Joe Biden overstepping his authority on COVID-19?
“This is going to harden opposition. Sometimes when you’re a leader, you have to go in and use a sledgehammer. And I’ve been known to do that when I was governor. Sometimes it’s appropriate, but this one was not the time to do it. We have to be persuasive, we have to continue to persuade,” the Republican said.
“Working for the government and ordering government workers to have to have a mandate there’s one thing, extending that to two-thirds of all the jobs and making it either get vaccinated or not, it’s also contradictory logically,” he said.
“Because what they’re telling us is, by all the data, that vaccinated people are very, very well protected from anyone who’s unvaccinated and who has it, yet they’re saying to us, ‘We have to do this to protect you.’ Well, that’s protecting the unvaccinated from the unvaccinated,” he said.
“They’re making choices.”