White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond said President Joe Biden is willing to “run over” any Republican governors who attempt to fight back against federal vaccine mandates.
After Biden unveiled a plan to impose either vaccination or frequent testing on over 80 million workers who are employed at companies that have 100 employees or more, Richmond told CNN that the White House is ready for GOP opposition.
“The one thing I admire about this president is the fact that we are always going to put people above politics. And we’re going to fight for those who really need our help,” Richmond, a former Democrat congressman from Louisiana, said in response to a question about governors resisting the mandate.
“And those governors that stand in the way, I think, it was very clear from the president’s tone today that he will run over them,” he said. “And it is important. It’s not for political purposes. It’s to save the lives of American people. And so, we won’t let one or two individuals stand in the way. We will always err on the side of protecting the American people.”
Richmond’s comment, however, raises questions about how the federal government plans to “run over” states, as the United States government is federalist and combines the central government with state and local governments.
A number of Republican governors on Thursday, following Biden’s speech, said they would resist the vaccine mandate. Should the federal government direct the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to impose testing or vaccine mandates on private employees, Biden will face an avalanche of lawsuits.
“My legal team is standing by ready to file our lawsuit the minute Joe Biden files his unconstitutional rule,” South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, a Republican, wrote in a Twitter post. “This gross example of federal intrusion will not stand.”
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, also a Republican, wrote that his administration will “pursue every legal option available” in order to halt what he called a “blatantly unlawful overreach.”
And Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona said his state will “push back” against federal mandates, saying “Biden-Harris administration is hammering down on private businesses and individual freedoms in an unprecedented and dangerous way. This will never stand up in court.”
He wrote: “This dictatorial approach is wrong, un-American and will do far more harm than good. How many workers will be displaced? How many kids are kept out of classrooms? How many businesses fined? The vaccine is and should be a choice.”
Other than an order targeting private businesses, Biden also said he would mandate that all federal workers and contractors get the shot, mandate Medicare and Medicaid hospital staff to get vaccinated, and other mandates.
The Epoch Times has contacted the White House for clarification on Richmond’s comment.