Local leaders react to Supreme Court vaccine mandate ruling

Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 9:58 PM EST
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BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (WVVA) - Businesses in Mercer and Tazewell Counties are welcoming Thursday’s US Supreme Court ruling against President Joe Biden’s private business vaccine mandate.

The mandate, if allowed by the court, would have forced all businesses with 100 or more employees to ensure all their workers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The high court ruled this week against the mandate, stopping it in its tracks.

WVVA spoke with more than a dozen businesses in Mercer and Tazewell counties about the ruling, with evidence of agreement across the board. No representatives from any of the local businesses were comfortable going on the record, mostly citing reluctance to “get political.” The consensus was clear however: either support or indifference toward the ruling.

“The area would be supportive of the Supreme Court and making that decision, because we’re getting so much pushback in different big businesses,” said Mercer County Commissioner Bill Archer. “People don’t necessarily like to be forced.”

Archer, who voted against a mask mandate in Mercer County, W.Va. last year, says he agrees with the court’s ruling. He also said he believes people are smart enough to make their own decision, noting he’s been fully vaccinated himself.

Over the border in Tazewell, Va., sentiment seems to be the same.

“I’m fully vaccinated, but there are going to be a lot of people who choose not to for their reasons, and that’s their choice and should be their choice,” said Rep. Morgan Griffith of Virginia’s ninth congressional district.

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