Mandates that protect public safety — particularly during health emergencies — are nothing new in America, and in Alabama, they are especially needed right now, Alabama Democrats said in response to an executive order issued Monday by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey.
“We’re required to have car insurance to cover the cost of damage if we cause an accident, we require restaurants to have health inspections to make sure they’re safe to eat at, we require children and our troops to be vaccinated against many diseases in order to keep illnesses from spreading throughout our public schools and military,” a statement from the Alabama Democratic Party read. “What’s wrong with a mandate that protects public health and keeps our hospitals from overcrowding?”
Ivey’s order directs state agencies to ignore President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate, which would require federal employees and the employees of federal contractors to be vaccinated or risk fines or losing federal funding. Biden’s mandate is scheduled to take effect on Dec. 8.
Alabama, in the meantime, has been one of the states most devastated by COVID-19. According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, 15,407 Alabamians have died, and the state currently ranks third in COVID deaths per capita.
Health experts have also warned that the state’s low vaccination rate, combined with waning immunity and the holiday season, could result in a new year rise in cases. That’s why Biden’s federal mandate — which requires either a vaccine, an acceptable exemption or a weekly COVID test — is important. At least, to some.
“The government asks us to do things all the time that protect us,” the ADP statement continued. “We need vaccine mandates to keep businesses open, hospitals unburdened, and ensure that unvaccinated people don’t make us and our kids sick. Vaccine mandates are nothing new.”