RALEIGH — At its Nov. 15 meeting, the Brunswick County Commission unanimously voted to oppose the Biden administration’s attempt to require businesses with 100 or more employees to have their employees be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 4 or face weekly testing for the virus.
Commissioner Patricia Sykes introduced the resolution, which reads in part that “We firmly oppose President Biden’s overreach of the vaccine mandate.”
“The Brunswick County Board of Commissioners upholds the United States Constitution and fully supports the individual freedom to choose whether to be vaccinated or unvaccinated. We recognize the historical efficacy of proven vaccines in public health, but rejects policies of mandatory vaccination, regardless of FDA approval and rejects proposals for statewide, nationwide, or global ‘vaccine passports,’ ‘health passes’ or similar policies,” the resolution says.
“We thank and support North Carolina legislators, local government officials and other elected officials for their continued efforts to ensure that the individual freedom to be vaccinated or unvaccinated without penalty or discrimination is fully protected,” reads the resolution.
The text cites two bills at the General Assembly barring vaccine mandates; House Bill 572,”No Vaccine Mandate by EU, Rule, or Agency;” and House Bill 686, “An Act Prohibiting State and Local Government Retribution Regarding Refusal of Vaccines.”
House Bill 572 has already been passed by the house and now is in a Senate committee. House Bill 686 is currently in the House Committee on Health. House Bill 686 has been renamed “No Gov’t Retribution for Refusal of CV19 Vax.”
The resolution was sent to Gov. Roy Cooper as well as various lawmakers and elected officials in the state. Sykes said she hopes “they put pressure on the federal government that they don’t support it.”
Several of North Carolina’s congressional members have pushed back on the mandate, including Republican U.S. Rep. Greg Murphy (NC-03), who is a medical doctor.
“As a physician, I have been a strong proponent of the COVID vaccine since the beginning,” Murphy said. “I have administered the vaccine myself, and I believe in the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. That said, I am completely opposed to a federal mandate requiring COVID vaccination.”
The Biden administration directed the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to implement the new requirement.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the requirement on Nov. 6. A three-judge panel for that same court maintained the ruling just a week later, stating that the Biden order “grossly exceeds” the administration’s authority.