Kansas’ Democratic governor said it was ‘too late’ for Biden to issue a vaccine mandate, siding with Republicans against it

Laura Kelly.
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly joined Republicans in opposition of the president's vaccination mandate.
  • The Democratic governor of Kansas issued a statement opposing President Joe Biden's vaccine mandate for businesses.
  • Gov. Laura Kelly joined Republicans in opposition of the mandate, saying it's "too late to impose a federal standard" after states have "been leading the fight against COVID-19."
  • Biden's vaccine mandate requires businesses with over 100 employees to make employees get vaccinated or be tested weekly.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, joined Republicans on Friday in opposing President Joe Biden's vaccine mandate for businesses.

Kelly issued a statement applauding Biden's intentions but signaling Kansas will go in a different direction.

"While I appreciate the intention to keep people safe, a goal I share, I don't believe this directive is the correct, or most effective, solution for Kansas," Kelly said in a Friday statement on Twitter.

"States have been leading the fight against COVID-19 from the start of the pandemic. It is too late to impost a federal standard now that we have already developed systems and strategies that are tailored for our specific needs," Kelly continued.

"I will seek a resolution that continues to recognize the uniqueness of our state and builds on our on-going efforts to combat a once-in-a-century crisis," she wrote.

Biden's mandate was officially rolled out on Thursday and is set to take effect on January 4. Kansas is one of several states suing to challenge the mandate in court.

As Insider's Kevin Shalvey reported, the states opposing the mandate argue the federal government doesn't have the constitutional authority to make such a mandate and argue the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) lacks the authority to enforce it.

As Insider previously reported, a US federal appeals court in Louisiana on Saturday temporarily halted President Joe Biden's mandate.

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled there were potentially "grave statutory and constitutional" issues at play with Biden's mandate, which requires businesses with more than 100 employees to require employees to get vaccinated for COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing for it.

White House Chief of Staff Ronald Klain on Sunday said he was "confident" the mandate would ultimately be upheld.

About 47.8% of Kansans over age 12 are fully vaccinated, according to state data, placing it below the national average of 58.3%, per CDC data.

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