Governor Kim Reynolds has signed the State of Iowa onto a lawsuit challenging one of the Covid-19 vaccination mandates President Biden has proposed.
“I do not believe in mandating vaccines. I’ve been very clear about that,” Reynolds said last week during a news conference inside a manufacturing plant in Adel. “I’ve been vaccinated. We continue to encourage (vaccinations). It’s our best defense in addressing Covid-19 and the delta variant, but I believe that that is a personal choice.”
Iowa and nine other Republican-led states are challenging a requirement that workers employed by a company that’s a federal contractor be fully vaccinated. According to Reynolds, this requirement would affect one-fifth of the nation’s workforce.
“It just is a complete overreach,” Reynolds said last week when referring to the federal vaccination requirements. “You know, Americans will do the right thing. They have…The fact that they don’t even take into account natural immunity, not even allowing that to be part of the conversation, is ridiculous.”
Reynolds said in a statement today that “thousands of Iowans would be forced to get a Covid shot against their wishes” if the federal rule goes into effect. According to the lawsuit, most state agencies are technically federal contractors, so the vaccination requirement would force employees in Iowa’s state government to get vaccinated against Covid-19. Earlier this month, President Biden said vaccination mandates are a way to put the pandemic behind us and accelerate the country’s economic recovery.
Earlier today, Governor Reynolds signed a new law that lets workers facing the loss of a job over a vaccination mandate to claim a medical or religious exemption. The Iowa Association of Business and Industry calls the new law “misguided” and, in a written statement, it means Iowa businesses are at risk of federal fines if they follow these new state regulations. The group said businesses will ultimately face higher taxes to cover the newly guaranteed unemployment benefits for workers who are fired for failing to get vaccinated.