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Biden announces sweeping new vaccine mandates for 100 million Americans

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Joe Biden has announced sweeping new federal vaccine requirements affecting as many as 100 million Americans in an all-out effort to increase COVID-19 vaccinations and curb the surging delta variant.

The government's expansive new rules, announced Thursday, mandate that all employers with more than 100 workers require them to be vaccinated or test for the virus weekly, affecting about 80 million Americans.

Biden is also signing an executive order requiring vaccination for all employees of the executive branch and contractors who do business with the federal government. No testing opt-out is expected to be included for the executive branch requirement.

Reactions from Siouxland governors

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds released the following statement on Biden's new COVID-19 mandates:

“President Biden is taking dangerous and unprecedented steps to insert the federal government even further into our lives while dismissing the ability of Iowans and Americans to make healthcare decisions for themselves."

Gov. Kim Reynolds

The Republican governor stated she believes Biden's plan will worsen the workforce shortage and limit the economic recovery. Reynolds says she has "trust in Iowans to make the best health decisions for themselves and their families."

In Nebraska, Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts has released a statement condemning Biden's attempt to mandate vaccinations on healthcare workers and private employers.

“President Biden’s announcement is a stunning violation of personal freedom and abuse of the federal government’s power. This plan isn’t about public health – this is about government control and taking away personal liberties.”

“Americans, not the federal government, are responsible for taking charge of their personal health.  It is not the role of the federal government to mandate their choices. Nebraska will stand up to President Biden’s overreach, and we will be working with the Attorney General to explore all our options.”

Gov. Pete Ricketts
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Associated Press

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