Biden's initial COVID-19 vaccine mandate, announced on Sept. 9, requires all federal workers and contractors to be fully vaccinated. It also requires healthcare workers whose employers receive federal Medicare or Medicaid funding to be fully vaccinated.
The White House later announced an eventual expansion to this vaccine mandate. The expansion would impose vaccination or weekly testing requirements for all private businesses with more than 100 employees. Such a mandate would apply to more than 80 million Americans. It will also result in fines of nearly $14,000 per violation, which would cripple small businesses all over the country.
Pushback from sheriffs and other law enforcement officers came almost immediately after Biden expanded the vaccine mandate. They made their opposition to the mandate known in tandem with many leading Republican politicians who vowed to sue the president to overturn the mandate. (Related: Half of America gearing up to wage legal war against Biden over unconstitutional covid vaccine mandates.)
"We, as Americans, must stand up to Government overreach that we witnessed yesterday," wrote Sheriff Casey Graham of Bollinger County, Missouri, a day after Biden expanded the vaccine mandate. He pledged that his office "will NEVER enforce such mandates by our Federal Government."
Sheriff Chad Sheehan of the Woodbury County Sheriff's Office in Iowa said he won't force his 120 employees to comply with the federal vaccine mandate. He said he was elected to protect the "freedoms and liberties guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States."
Logan County, Oklahoma Sheriff Damon Devereaux made a similar statement, saying that his sheriff's office's first duty is to defend the Constitution. This is why he will respect the choice of his employees to get vaccinated or not.
"I'm appalled at some of the absolute dictator-like tactics we are seeing from our federal government and several other state governments," said Devereaux. "It flies in the face of everything our country has always stood for and is furthering the damage and division done to the people of this great nation."
Sheriffs Bo Stallman of Brazoria County, Texas and Tim Ryals of Faulkner County, Arkansas, released statements calling Biden's vaccine mandate tyrannical.
Stallman said the "tyrannical" vaccine mandate of the "overreaching" federal government was like a terrorist attack by a "domestic enemy."
"On 9/11 we experienced a foreign enemy. Today we have a domestic enemy: The potential of a tyrannical, overreaching government that threatens to violate the constitutional rights of our citizens," wrote Stallman.
In a letter to his employees, Stallman said they will not be required to abide by the federal vaccine mandate "or any other mandate that would attempt to infringe on your individual liberties and freedoms."
Ryals called the federal vaccine mandate an attempt to enact tyranny by overreaching the government's authority.
"It is in that defense and the defense of individual liberty that the Faulkner County Sheriff's Office will not mandate the COVID vaccine for any of our employees nor will we enforce any such mandate in Faulkner County," said Ryals.
Riverside County, California Sheriff Chad Bianco said the federal government has no authority to mandate a person's individual health choices.
"It is time our government and our politicians come to the realization that the only reason they exist is because 'we the people' formed our government to secure the blessings of individual liberty and freedom," wrote Bianco in a statement. "As your Sheriff I have an obligation to guard your liberty and freedom."
In South Carolina, the South Carolina Sheriff's Association (SCSA), which represents the interests of the state's 46 sheriffs and their departments, said the federal government has no authority over sheriffs in the state.
"In South Carolina, the Office of Sheriff is established in the State Constitution and the South Carolina General Assembly determines the duties of the Sheriff through statute. Ultimately, South Carolina Sheriffs possess no statutory authority to enforce federal law, including Presidential Executive Orders," explained the SCSA in a statement.
The SCSA further stated that because neither the governor of South Carolina nor the South Carolina General Assembly have mandated COVID-19 vaccines, it will not be enforcing any kind of mandate in the state.
"So, while South Carolina's Sheriffs encourage you to consult with your doctor about your individual medical situation and whether the COVID-19 vaccine is appropriate for you, they cannot enforce the executive orders issued by President Biden."
Learn more about the significant opposition building against COVID-19 vaccine mandates by reading the latest articles at Vaccines.news.