South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) has sent a warning to President Joe Biden that if he moves beyond his constitutional authority to force vaccinations on the American people through his executive order, her state will fire back and “see him in court.”
In an opinion article published on USA Today on Friday, Sept. 17, Noem said that the Constitution grants public health authority to the states. Still, last week, Biden claimed, “this is not about freedom or personal choice” regarding COVID-19 vaccinations.
In his remarks on Sept. 9, Biden announced a vaccination requirement for all government employees and contractors and a new vaccination mandate for private companies employing more than 100 people.
And with a growing threat of Delta variant, there are concerns that Biden may go further in his vaccination strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
But Noem cited the 10th Amendment, saying that public health is left to the states.
“The Biden administration has no business forcing vaccinations on the American people through executive decree or rule. Biden has no constitutional authority to do so,” Noem said.
The Republican governor said she “will not be mandating COVID-19 vaccinations in South Dakota,” stressing that the states should lead on pandemic response.
Mentioning his recent remarks, Noem said that, “By overplaying his hand, Biden may inadvertently increase vaccine hesitancy. By saying ‘our patience is wearing thin,’ the president risks demonizing the American people.”
“Americans should not be forced into vaccinations,” she said.
The governor said that the American people should know what conditions may make them vulnerable to serious health consequences from the COVID-19 virus, how effective the vaccines are. They could then make the best decisions for themselves and their loved ones.
Noem—the first female governor of the Mount Rushmore state—said she would continue to make the vaccine available to everyone in South Dakota and work with health care experts to take care of the people in the state.
She said that her state is making progress in the fight against COVID-19, with therapeutics proving more effective all the time.
“Data out of South Dakota hospitals shows that monoclonal antibody treatments are cutting hospitalizations of vulnerable individuals,” she said.
Noem also stressed the freedom and personal responsibility in treatment options.
“I’d encourage Americans to get vaccinated, as I did. But that choice is theirs to make—not the federal government’s to make for them,” she wrote.
“President Biden, if you take this unprecedented action and overstep your constitutional authority, we will defend our people and see you in court,” she added.