COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) — South Carolina Governor, Henry McMaster, is standing firm in his opposition to President Joe Biden’s vaccine executive order.
Last week, President Biden announced he would require companies with more than 100 workers to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine or offer weekly testing to their employees.
McMaster took to Twitter and said he would fight to the ‘gates of hell’ to protect the liberty and livelihood of every South Carolinian.
Tuesday, he spoke with reporters following a groundbreaking event at Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia. He said he expects legal challenges to the President’s mandate.
“The question is what authority does the federal government have to issue mandates we so far have not seen,” McMaster said. “We don’t know how they would look like or how they plan to implement them.”
The governor said people shouldn’t be forced by the government to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I don’t believe there is constitutional authority for the President or the administration to require people to get a vaccination,” he said. “I think that would be an unprecedented use of the law.”
McMaster said he is opposed to mandates but believes getting vaccinated is the right thing to do. Hospitals in South Carolina said the majority of the people hospitalized with COVID-19 right now are unvaccinated.
The Governor urged anyone who isn’t vaccinated to get the vaccine if they’d like. DHEC said nearly 50% of eligible South Carolinians are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or about 2.1 million people.
South Carolina lags behind most states with vaccinations.
“We can get the information to the people,” McMaster says. “Tell them what works, what doesn’t work and let them make the best decision for their own lives.”