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Utah’s legislature may block government COVID vaccine mandates

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Salt Lake City, Utah — According to House Speaker Brad Wilson, legislation seeking to block the Biden administration’s plans to mandate that businesses require the COVID-19 vaccine or weekly testing may be coming soon.

“I would say likely, but not for sure,” he said.

The White House has proposed utilizing occupational safety rules to require businesses with more than 100 employees to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine or require regular testing. The House Speaker was also supportive of a threatened lawsuit by Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes over the mandate.

“I don’t want anyone to misconstrue our concern about this that we’re not supportive of vaccines. Very supportive of vaccines,” he said. “What we’re not supportive of is the government mandating that people get vaccines and doing it in a sneaky way.”

Speaker Wilson says he supports a private business or organization’s right to mandate the vaccine on their own — which some companies have done.

“If a private organization or employer wants to require their employees to get vaccinated, that’s a decision up to them,” Speaker Wilson said.

More than a hundred people tried to push lawmakers to ban any business from requiring the COVID-19 vaccine, at a recent meeting of the Utah State Legislature’s Health & Human Services Interim Committee. Speaker Wilson signaled that effort might not get very far.

“There are lawmakers that think we should prohibit employers from being able to require vaccines,” he said. “I am not one of them.”

The Cox administration has said it would not mandate state government employees get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Legislative leaders on Capitol Hill are ensuring more resources are available for monoclonal antibody treatments for people who do contract COVID-19. Speaker Wilson said he spoke to the Utah Department of Health to ensure it was available.

Senate President J. Stuart Adams, R-Layton, also lent his support for it in a post on Twitter.

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