'Are you people trying to start a full on revolt?' Rep. Dan Crenshaw wrote.
Republicans are up in arms about President Joe Biden's new plan, announced on Thursday, for what the White House calls a "Path out of the Pandemic."
The plan includes requirements that all federal employees, workers at hospitals that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding, and workers at companies with 100 or more employees be vaccinated against the coronavirus or undergo weekly testing.
Some GOP elected officials and candidates have called for citizens to "revolt" against the requirements, which are intended to get the still-raging COVID-19 pandemic under control, while others have called Biden's move "authoritarian," even though the U.S. government has been implementing vaccination mandates for more than 170 years, notably for children entering school.
Currently, more than 1,500 people in the United States are reported to be dying of COVID-19 per day, on average, with data showing nearly all of those deaths are among the unvaccinated.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), who himself was subject to multiple vaccination requirements during his years of service in the Navy, railed against Biden's new policy.
"Are you people trying to start a full on revolt?" Crenshaw tweeted. "Honestly what the hell is wrong with Democrats? Leave people the hell alone. This is insanity."
Ohio GOP Senate candidate Josh Mandel used violent rhetoric in a Thursday night tweet: "Do NOT comply with the tyranny. When the gestapo show up at your front door, you know what to do."
A number of Republicans are calling Biden's mandate authoritarian and "unconstitutional." Supporters of Biden's orders call that a false accusation, noting that the Supreme Court has ruled that vaccine requirements are constitutional. In its decision in Jacobson v. Massachusetts in 1905, the court determined that "it is within the police power of a State to enact a compulsory vaccination law."
Attorney Marc Elias tweeted on Thursday from the ruling in Jacobson, "Real liberty for all could not exist under the operation of a principle which recognizes the right of each individual person to use his own, whether in respect of his person or his property, regardless of the injury that may be done to others."
Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX), who served as the White House physician to Barack Obama and Donald Trump before running for Congress, tweeted, "Biden's authoritarian announcement to impose illegal vaccine mandates on businesses is chilling. The decision to get vaccinated should be between you and your doctor, not illegally mandated by President Biden. This is OUTRAGEOUS!"
Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) made similar comments, tweeting, "This un-American & tyrannical decision isn't about science; it's about political science in the form of tanking poll numbers. Biden went from saying no mandates by the federal government to this unconstitutional order that would coerce inoculation. [Stop] the authoritarian mandates."
Among those expressing support for Biden's executive orders was the American Medical Association.
"With the rapid spread of the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant, alarming increases in COVID-19 related deaths and hospitalizations, and our health system and physicians stretched thin, the AMA is pleased by the Administration's significant efforts to help get this pandemic under control," the AMA said in a statement after Biden's announcement. "Aggressive measures will be needed to prevent further widespread transmission of COVID-19."
And vaccination mandates are popular — despite the vocal opposition from Republican lawmakers and candidates.
A Gallup survey from August found that "majorities of Americans" support vaccine requirements.
The poll found that 61% of Americans support proof of vaccination for air travel, 58% support it for attendance at events with large crowds, 56% support it for dining in restaurants, and 56% support it for entering offices and other work sites.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.