The largest group representing federal law enforcement officers has turned on Joe Biden as the president voices plans to mandate coronavirus vaccines for millions of Americans.
According to Breitbart, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) condemned the president’s efforts to impose vaccine mandates in a statement Thursday.
The non-union group, headed by Larry Cosme, represents roughly 30,000 federal law enforcement officers nationwide.
“The Biden-Harris Administration’s action to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for all federal employees is misguided,” Cosme said in a statement, according to Breitbart.
Education over coercion
Cosme said mandating the vaccine would only serve to discourage Americans from getting it.
“Today, 75 percent of American adults have at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine,” he said, as Breitbart reported. “We are well on our way to herd immunity based on voluntary vaccination. A mandate at this time only undermines these voluntary vaccination efforts and reduces public comfort in getting vaccinated.”
The FLEOA president said “vaccination should be promoted through education and encouragement — not coercion.”
“This executive order villainizes employees for reasonable concerns and hesitancies and inserts the federal government into individual medical decisions,” Cosme wrote of Biden’s mandate. “People should not be made to feel uncomfortable for making a reasonable medical choice.”
He said the FLEOA “will continue to review the legal landscape for this order” and would support its members in voicing opposition to it. “We are a nation built on freedom,” Cosme said. “We are law enforcement officers who defend that freedom. And we deserve the freedom to make our own health decisions.”
GOP fights back
The statement came the same day that Biden unveiled a six-point plan that includes ordering the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to develop a rule requiring “all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis.”
In addition, health care workers employed in facilities that receive federal funds through Medicare or Medicaid will also have to get vaccinated. Altogether, reports indicate Biden’s mandate could impact 100 million Americans, who will have to either get vaccinated or face the consequences.
Republican leaders, including state governors and attorneys general, have responded by threatening lawsuits against the Biden administration. “I do not believe that people should lose their jobs over this issue, and we will fight that,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said, according to Breitbart. “If they try to do that through a rule like the Department of Labor, I don’t think they have the legal authority to do that, but we obviously would want to support protections for people who are just trying to earn a living.”