Gov. Stitt, AG O'Connor Highlight Fight Against Federal Vaccine Mandates

Tuesday, December 7th 2021, 5:56 pm


The state's chief executive and top lawyer said they're not done pushing back against President Joe Biden's plan to get the country vaccinated against COVID-19.

However, it's not an anti-vaccine message, but an anti-mandate fight, Gov. Kevin Stitt and Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor explained at a Tuesday news conference.

“It’s anti-American it’s anti-Oklahoman,” Stitt said.

Stitt told reporters they have a very practical application when it comes to a needle going into your arm.

Stitt and O’Connor were joined by Oklahoma National Guard Adjutant Gen. Tom Mancino, Stillwater nurse Caroline Swink and Sand Springs CEO Dana Weber.

“I would not be surprised to see at least 20% of our employees quit,” Weber said.

All but one of the speakers said they had been vaccinated themselves.

“My problem is not with the vaccine. My problem is with the notion of it being mandated,” O’Connor said.

The state launched four federal lawsuits working to block Biden administration's vaccine mandates on National Guard and federal employees, private business with more than 100 employees, health care workers and federal contractors.

“The president does not have the authority under the constitution or the laws of our country to mandated vaccines,” O’Connor said.

The military requirement putting the National Guard at an impasse with the Pentagon.

“(The governor) cannot necessarily eliminate a federal requirement, but he can decide how, if, and when it is enforced within the state of Oklahoma,” Mancino said.

The legal fights are being funded by $10 million set aside by lawmakers to challenge federal overreach.

“The decision to take a COVID vaccine should be made by Oklahomans and their doctors; not their bosses and certainly not the federal government,” Stitt said.

After the news conference, Care Providers Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce applauded the lawsuits.