South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem this week vowed to fight any federal legislation that would mandate vaccinations against Covid-19.
Noem made waves on Monday when she said if Joe Biden “illegally mandates vaccines,” she “will take every action available under the law to protect South Dakotans from the federal government.”
Noem pledged to fight against federal vaccine mandates after Joe Biden urged businesses to require their employees to become vaccinated after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine full approval.
Pfizer’s vaccine is the first to be granted full approval by the FDA this week.
“I was the only governor in America who never ordered a single business or church to close,” said Noem. She exclaimed that while she does not support businesses imposing mandatory vaccination for employees, she does “not have the authority as Governor to tell them what to do.” Her statement comes as Sanford Health, the state’s largest employer, made the Covid-19 vaccine mandatory for all employees by Nov. 1.
Some Republicans in the South Dakota House of Representatives have drafted bills to stop businesses from mandating Covid-19 vaccinations. Taking preventative action, House Speaker Spencer Gosch, R-S.D., called on Noem to call a special session to pass the legislation.
11 governors have already signed bills banning vaccine requirements in their states. Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Indiana, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Utah have all passed forms of legislation preventing vaccine mandates in their states.