Wyoming Set To Fight Vaccine Mandate In Courts, Legislature

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming is preparing to go to court and possibly hold a special legislative session to counter President Joe Biden's plans to require worker vaccinations against the coronavirus, Gov. Mark Gordon said Wednesday.

“We cannot sit on our hands just watching this egregious example of federal government overreach," Gordon, a Republican, said in a statement.

Biden's plan announced last week will require vaccination for workers at health care facilities getting Medicare or Medicaid funding. Federal contractors and executive-branch employees also will need to be vaccinated.

Employers with more than 100 workers will need to require employees to be vaccinated or tested weekly for COVID-19.

Republicans nationwide and some union leaders have objected to the plans. Biden's plans are praised, however, by the American Medical Association and National Association of Manufacturers while the latest virus surge claims over 1,000 lives in the U.S. a day.

Wyoming ranks second-lowest, in front of only West Virginia, for its COVID-19 full vaccination rate of 40%, according to Becker's Hospital Review.

Wyoming's rate of 105 average daily new cases per 100,000 people, meanwhile, ranks third behind Tennessee and Kentucky, according to Mayo Clinic.

Over 200 people in Wyoming on Wednesday were hospitalized with COVID-19, the most since the virus peaked in the state in December, according to the Wyoming Department of Health.

Even so, Wyoming officials are talking with governors in other states about ways to contest the Biden administration vaccine requirements in court, according to Gordon's statement.

A special legislative session focused on a “small number of bills” involving the federal vaccine requirements could occur as soon as October, said the statement.

Gordon has been vaccinated since contracting a mild case of COVID-19 last year. He has encouraged people to get the coronavirus vaccines, calling them “safe and effective.”

“Nevertheless, I also understand others may have a different impression of the COVID-19 vaccine. In some cases, they are my neighbors and I respect their views just as I expect them to respect mine,” Gordon said.

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