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Gov. Ducey calls President Biden ‘dictatorial’ over US vaccine mandate for businesses

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PHOENIX (KVOA) - Gov. Doug Ducey vowed to "push back" against President Joe Biden's plan to curb the delta variant after Biden announced Thursday that his administration will require large employers to mandate COVID-19 vaccines nationwide.

On Thursday, Biden outlined a six-pronged federal plan geared to boost COVID-19 after the United States surpassed 40 million positive cases on Tuesday. In that plan, the president announced several new nationwide COVID-19 policies, including a mandate that says all employers with more than 100 workers must require their employees to get vaccinated or receive weekly COVID-19 tests.

The Associated Press reported that this new requirement would affect "as many as 100 million people.

In response, Arizona's governor released a statement to say this decision "is exactly the kind of big government overreach we have tried so hard to prevent in Arizona."

“President Biden’s dictatorial approach is wrong, un-American and will do far more harm than good. How many workers will be displaced? How many kids kept out of classrooms? How many businesses fined?" Ducey said. “These mandates are outrageous. They will never stand up in court. We must and will push back.”

Ducey also said "the Biden-Harris administration plans on fining businesses $14,000 for every employee not tested or vaccinated," attributing those numbers to Jacob Bogage, a reporter with the Washington Post.

Bogage's referenced Tweet also included that the United States Postal Service workers will be exempt from the related vaccine fines from Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

"Joe Biden has failed us on COVID. He ran for office on a promise to ‘shut down the virus.’ He has failed on this, much as he has failed on the border crisis and in Afghanistan. So now, President Biden’s plan is to shut down freedom," Ducey said. “COVID-19 is a contagious disease, it is still with us and it will be for the foreseeable future. President Biden's solution is hammering down on private businesses and individual freedoms in an unprecedented and dangerous way."

Attorney General Mark Brnovich also criticized Biden's new COVID-19 policies, calling the president's action "unconstitutional."

"President Biden is now taking federal overreach to unheard of levels by dictating vaccine mandates for all private companies with over 100 people, federal contractors, and healthcare providers receiving federal dollars," Brnovich said. This would be a devastating step toward the nationalization of our healthcare systems and private workforce, and greatly erode individual liberties. I am reviewing his outrageous actions and will take all legal recourse to defend our state’s sovereignty and the rights of Arizonans to make the best healthcare decisions for themselves."

Arizona reported 2,480 new positive COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the state's overall total to 1,039,492. Arizona Department of Health Services also reported that the death toll rose to 19,141, after seeing 62 related deaths.

ADHS also shared that 56.5% of Arizonans are vaccinated.

To read Ducey's complete statement, visit

To register for a vaccine appointment, visit or, or call 1-844-542-8201.

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Anthony Victor Reyes

Anthony Victor Reyes is the lead digital content producer at News 4 Tucson. The award-winning journalist previously worked as a community reporter in Jasper County, Iowa.

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