Gov. Ivey sends letter urging OSHA to oppose Biden Administration vaccine mandate

Alabama News

FILE – In this Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, file photo, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey visits for homecoming festivities during the first half of an NCAA college football game between Alabama and Arkansas, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said she plans to sign agreements Monday, Feb. 1, 2021 for two privately built prisons, despite lawmakers’ complaints about the pricetag and lack of public transparency and warnings from advocacy groups that such prisons won’t address chronic violence and severe staffing woes.(AP Photo/Vasha Hunt, File)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Governor Kay Ivey sent a letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Friday asking them to oppose the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandate for companies with over 100 employees.

In the letter to Assistant Secretary of Labor Douglas Parker, Gov. Ivey asks that OSHA not adopt its COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). The ETS applies to almost all employers with a total of 100 or more employees.

The OSHA website explains: “Covered employers must develop, implement, and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, with an exception for employers that instead adopt a policy requiring employees to elect either to get vaccinated or to undergo regular COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at work.”

In the letter, Ivey also mentioned the executive order she signed in October calling for the State of Alabama to not impose penalties on businesses or individuals who don’t abide by federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

“My administration encourages COVID-19 vaccinations as safe and effective but opposes overreaching COVID-19 vaccination mandates imposed by the government,” Ivey wrote.

She also wrote that mandates imposed by the ETS threatens to increase vaccine skepticism in Alabama and disrupt the state’s economy.

Along with the letter, Gov. Ivey released a statement:

Alabama is standing strong in our fight against the overreaching, un-American Biden vaccine mandates. President Trump said it well in an interview yesterday morning. The Biden Administration is driving distrust and anxieties about this vaccine. As I have stated countless times, Alabamians and Americans alike should never have to choose between getting this shot and putting food on the tables for their families. We are fighting these mandates every step of the way, any way we know how.

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey

According to the White House, employees falling under the ETS, CMS, or federal contractor rules will need to have their final vaccination dose, either their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or single dose of Johnson & Johnson, by January 4, 2022. 

Ivey ended her letter by writing, “I believe the best way to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations in Alabama, and elsewhere, is through education, transparency, communication and persuasion, not government mandates.”

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