COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine reacted to President Joe Biden’s newly-announced COVID-19 vaccine mandate on Friday.
Biden revealed his sweeping plan to increase vaccinations and decrease hospitalizations from the virus on Thursday. It requires businesses with more than 100 employees mandate vaccines or regular testing. Workers in health care and education that receive federal funds must be vaccinated, as well as all federal employees and contractors. The plan affects about 80 million Americans.
DeWine, in a post to his verified Twitter account, called the policy “a mistake,” while Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said Biden is “acting unlawfully.”
“I think the President made a mistake by announcing federal vaccine mandates. We should be focused on the science of preventing virus spread – the vaccine is our best tool to stop COVID – but people and business owners should make their own decisions about vaccination,” DeWine wrote.
(Watch a portion of Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff’s Thursday news conference in the video player above.)
“I’m vaccinated, but the President doesn’t get to force me to. The Supreme Court just reminded him that he cannot ‘act unlawfully even in pursuit of desirable ends.’ By ordering employees at private companies to vaccinate, test weekly, or quit, he is acting unlawfully again,” Yost posted.
During a news conference on Thursday, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff revealed startling statistics on the virus in the state. He said one in seven patients in Ohio hospital systems has COVID-19, while one in four patients in the ICU has it.
“While we are not at an all-time high of cases recorded, these numbers are certainly troubling,” Vanderhoff said. “In early July, we were seeing daily case numbers of 200 and 300. Today, we’re seeing 20 times that.”
He said the hospitals surge is largely being driven by unvaccinated Ohioans.