Senior White House adviser Cedric Richmond declared Thursday that President Joe Biden would “run over” governors that stood in the way of his efforts to mandate vaccinations against the coronavirus in companies with more than 100 employees.
Appearing on CNN’s “Don Lemon Tonight,” the former Democratic Louisiana congressman said the administration wouldn’t “let one or two individuals stand in the way” of their efforts to save lives, and that they would do “anything and everything” within their control to make sure that citizens were protected.
Representative Cedric Richmond, a Democrat from Louisiana, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. Efforts by Congress to limit the types of military equipment the Defense Department can transfer to law enforcement departments is unlikely to touch an even bigger source of advanced weapons accessible to civilian police. Photographer: Erin Scott/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Biden announced the plan for the vaccine mandates and testing requirements on Thursday during public remarks on his plan to combat the coronavirus pandemic across the country. The mandate, which requires that all employees of companies with more than 100 employees be vaccinated or be tested weekly, received sharp criticism from Republican governors across the country.
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“We’ve put the burden on the businesses, if you have 100 or more employees, to get your employees vaccinated or to implement a rigorous testing regime,” Richmond told host Don Lemon.
“We have 75% of the country has at least taken one shot, and what we need is people to just do the responsible thing, care for their neighbors, care for children who can’t get vaccinated and take the shot … This is a race between vaccines and variants,” he added.
Richmond admitted that more requirements were being put in place through mandates because individuals weren’t making the choice to get vaccinated. He added that requirements were also being mandated for all federal employees, as well as schools that are federally supported.
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Lemon played a video clip of Biden from the announcement, in which he declared he would use his presidential powers to get state governors “out of the way” if they wouldn’t help in his pandemic fighting efforts.
President Biden speaks during an event to celebrate labor unions, in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
“The one thing I admire about this president is the fact that we’re always going to put people above politics, and we’re going to fight for those who really need our help. And so it’s unfortunate that we have so many governors that are using vaccinations and mask requirements as a political gain,” Richmond said after Lemon asked what he was going to do about the governors opposed to the mandates.
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“Those governors who stand in the way, I think it was very clear from the president’s tone today, that he will run over them … It’s not for political purposes, it’s to save the lives of American people,” he said. “So we won’t let one or two individuals stand in the way. We will always err on the side of protecting the American people.”