‘This is not leadership’: Idaho exploring legal action to stop Pres. Biden’s vaccine mandate

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho will explore legal action to stop President Biden’s latest vaccine mandate.

On Thursday, President Biden ordered new federal vaccine requirements for as many as 100 million Americans — private-sector employees as well as health care workers and federal contractors — in an effort to curb the surging COVID-19 delta variant.

In response to the announcement, Idaho Governor Brad Little said he is “working closely” with his legal counsel and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden on legal options “to protect the rights of business owners and their employees.”

“I have been consistent that government should stay out of decisions involving employers and their employees as much as possible. I’ve advocated for and championed fewer government regulations and mandates on business,” Little said in a statement.

When President Biden first announced the requirement Thursday, Little called the actions “government overreach.”

RELATED: Gov. Little calls Biden’s latest vaccine requirement ‘government overreach’

Other Republican leaders have expressed similar sentiments about the president’s announcement.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers tweeted out a statement Thursday saying the president was using fear, control and mandates to undermine people’s confidence in safe and effective vaccines.

READ: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers slams Biden’s vaccine requirement

The following is Little’s full statement released Friday:

“The State of Idaho is exploring legal action to stop President Biden’s unprecedented government overreach into the private sector with his new COVID-19 plan. I am working closely with my legal counsel and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden on legal options to protect the rights of business owners and their employees.

I have been consistent that government should stay out of decisions involving employers and their employees as much as possible. I’ve advocated for and championed fewer government regulations and mandates on business.

I am also deeply concerned with the president’s tone in his message to the American people with his new plan. It is wrong for President Biden to dismiss the concerns of millions of Americans and tell governors who represent Americans that he will use his powers as president to get them out of the way. This is not leadership. When President Biden took office, he promised to do his best to unify our country, and he has only driven us further apart. President Biden is out of touch, and his mandates only add to the divisiveness within our country.

I still urge Idahoans to choose to receive the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine and other ways to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 so our kids can stay in school and for the continued health and prosperity of the people of Idaho.”

Idaho has amongst the lowest vaccination rates in the country. Little has encouraged Idahoans to get vaccinated but has never issued any kind of requirement.

RELATED: Biden to require companies with 100 or more employees to ensure workers are vaccinated or tested weekly