CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) — More than half the Republicans in the West Virginia State Senate gathered on Tuesday to criticize President Joe Biden’s latest plan to attack COVID-19.
Many Democrats support the president, but critics said his executive order that all private businesses with more than 100 employees must get them vaccinated or provide weekly testing is a government over-reach.
“The federal government has went way too far in putting these mandates out. And if it’s not a mandate, then they are using federal dollars to coerce,” said State Sen. Craig Blair, (R) Berkeley – Senate President.
Republicans are also mad about President Biden’s order that all health care and nursing home employees must be vaccinated or their facilities could lose federal Medicare and Medicaid funding. But many Democrats said with COVID-19 surging again, the President has to use measures to get more people vaccinated.
“I just find it incredibly sad that elected leaders would choose to play politics in the midst of a global pandemic. Our hospital beds are full. People are dying,” said Del. Mike Pushkin, (D) Kanawha.
Republicans are also trying to speed up delivery of other COVID treatments known as infusion therapies to West Virginia, which can be administered outside the hospital setting and could help ease overcrowding. But legislative action is needed.
“Many Republicans want the Legislature to call itself in for a special session. But that will take a three-fifths vote in both chambers and as of now it appears, they don’t have enough votes,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.