Thomasville residents react to new federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate
THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WCTV) - Residents in Thomasville shared mixed feelings when it comes to President Biden’s new efforts to increase COVID vaccination rates.
The president announced Thursday a new executive order that would require federal workers and employees of large companies to get vaccinated. The order specifies that employers with more than 100 workers must implement vaccinations or provide weekly testing for the virus. Whereas, federal workers would not be offered an opt-out option.
Several state leaders, including Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, fired back by saying they plan to challenge the mandate. WCTV reached out to local employers in Thomas County, the two largest being Archbold Medical Center and the Thomas County School system.
Both shared that it’s too early to determine how the order would affect employees, especially with threats from Kemp to fight the mandate from happening.
“The results that we’re seeing more and more and more, deaths by COVID- that should be incentive enough. But I still think we have rights, that the President shouldn’t become a dictator in that regard. That’s just a little too dangerous, I think,” said Joeann Hinrichs.
Hinrichs said she was a little on the fence about the announcement. Although she’s vaccinated and has lost several friends to COVID-19, she said she still believes that people should not be required to get it.
Michael Goldwhich on the other hand said people have had the opportunity with incentives and encouragement from the government and have still declined, and he believes that mandate is a step in the right direction.
“Somehow it became politicized from the beginning and so a lot of people just aren’t doing for that reason. So yeah, I’m all for it. I think everybody needs to be vaccinated, that’s what’s keeping this country in the problems that we’re having right now,” he said.
Publix released a statement sharing that at the moment employees have only been encouraged to get vaccinated and that they’ll be watching for more guidance in the weeks to come.
If implemented, the vaccine mandate will affect millions of working Americans, as tens of millions remain vaccinated.
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