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Utah AG Reyes: Biden mandate “disastrous,” threatens lawsuit

Sep 16, 2021, 4:53 PM | Updated: 9:29 pm

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FILE: Attorney General of Utah Sean Reyes arrives onstage to pre-record his address to the Republican National Convention at the Mellon Auditorium on August 27, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY —  Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes was among 23 other attorneys general that sent a letter to President Joe Biden today, calling a federal vaccine mandate “disastrous and counterproductive.”

The US attorneys general also warned that litigation will follow any implementation of the proposed mandate.

Related:  State leaders respond to President Biden’s vaccine mandate

“I am committed to continuing leading with my colleagues to push back and fight this mandate all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary,” said Reyes in a statement sent to KSL.

The attorneys of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming all joined with Reyes in the letter.

Related: Constitutional scholars, Utah lawmakers push back on vaccine mandate

President Biden announced on Sept. 9 that he would use the Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) Act to order the Department of Labor to issue an emergency temporary standard mandating that private-sector employers issue their own mandate requiring a COVID-19 vaccine or weekly testing.

The letter states, in part, that the president’s mandate would “drive further skepticism” about the vaccine and that some Americans will “simply leave the job market … including essential health care workers.”

The federal mandate fails to recognize natural immunity, the letter continued. Further, the attorneys general said that the edict is illegal in that exposure to “grave danger” is required in order to justify an emergency temporary standard via OSHA.

The attorneys general argue that the grave danger specified by OSHA relates to the types of hazards in the workplace that are related specifically to the type of job being performed and not a danger presented by a virus such as  COVID-19.

“Both employers and employees in Utah, with unprecedented fervor, have flooded my office with messages of dire concern and extreme opposition to the proposed mandate. I firmly agree,” said Reyes in a statement.

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Utah AG Reyes: Biden mandate “disastrous,” threatens lawsuit