Lankford Stands Up for Oklahoma Workers, Fully Opposes Vaccine Mandates
CLICK HERE to watch Lankford’s remarks on YouTube.
WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today took to the Senate floor to stand firmly with Oklahoma service members, health care workers, federal employees, and private-sector workers who have chosen so far not to be vaccinated but face a federal requirement from the Biden Administration. Lankford continues to share his opposition to federal vaccine mandates and to the Biden Administration’s insistence on treating all Americans like they work for him..
Lankford continues to encourage Oklahomans to choose to be vaccinated if they wish, which he and his family chose to do. Lankford has long supported Operation Warp Speed, which began under the Trump Administration to develop the vaccines available now. Last year, Lankford recorded a podcast with President Trump’s FDA Commissioner, Dr. Stephen Hahn, to discuss the work to originally produce the vaccines.
Last week, President Biden announced that he had lost patience with the American people and that he was demanding people get a vaccination. Now, I’ve had the vaccine. I’m grateful for the vaccine. It’s an entirely different issue for the president of the United States to wag his finger at the American people and to say, ‘I know what you’ve chosen, but I choose something different, and you’re going to follow me.’ To literally instruct every employer with 100 employees or more, every federal contractor, every federal employee to bend to the will of the President and take this injection. It’s a very different thing.
There are over 39 million Americans right now that we know of that have already had COVID-19, have survived it, and have natural immunity. The President’s demand for a vaccine ignored those almost 40 million Americans that already have natural immunity. His demand was, ‘I know you have natural immunity. I want you to get this vaccine as well.’
It ignores cancer survivors that are very, very careful about what goes into their system. It ignores people with religious objections, and there are millions that have religious objections. It ignores individuals that just don’t want to do it because they’re an American and they don’t have to. And they do not like to have a federal government instructing them what they’re going to actually put in their body. Now, ironically, this was a random selection of companies that have 100 employees and up.
So I assume if you have 99 employees, you’re all fine, but if you have 100 employees, it’s totally different. There seems to be no accounting for where your employees work. Are your employees all tightly packed, all 100 in one small room, or are your employees all working outside? Do you have 100 employees, but they’re in 19 different locations? There seems to be no accommodation for any of those. It’s just the President saying, ‘I have lost patience. You need to go get the vaccine immediately.’
So by Thanksgiving, he’s planning on laying this vaccine mandate down on the country. There are multiple problems there, as I have already outlined. The 40 million people that have already survived COVID and don’t want to do the vaccine. The individuals and different medical treatments. The individuals with different other religious issues that they have. But it’s also an issue of trying to have a mandate come down from the federal government with an executive order. That’s not how our system works. The President of the United States does not have the ability to be able to just demand behavior from the American people. That’s not their role.
It’s been interesting to me, I’ve had several people that have reached out to me and say, ‘I found out that the President’s order exempts Congress, and so how come you get an exemption and I don’t?’ I’ve quickly responded back to them: because we’re a coequal branch of government, and the President’s trying to find everybody under quote-unquote, his purview to be able to do this. But the Judicial Branch and the Legislative Branch aren’t under his purview. Neither should the American people, because the American people do not work for the President of the United States. And companies of 100 people or more, their chief executive, their leadership does not work for the president of the United States.
So now what? There are lawsuits that are pending, but those lawsuits can’t move forward until the actual paperwork comes out from the White House. When that actual paperwork comes out in the next couple of weeks, we assume—we’ve not been told—then they we’ll have what’s called standing in the courts. And litigation from across the country will be able to speak into and federal judges across the country will be able to move on an injunction on this out-of- control mandate and to be able to say they cannot just compel people to be able to go take a shot because the President wants to get it. So that will be the first big step.
There’ll be legislative challenges that will come through this body. They are slower, so the federal courts are the fastest response to this. There’ll be multiple other groups that will push back on this, myself included. Listen, why would we not respect those individuals that have already had COVID-19?
According to an article that’s in the Wall Street Journal just today, there is a study out of Israel that shows that the immunity from natural immunity is 27 times more effective than the shot. Twenty-seven times, according to the study that was just recently come out. To ignore that and to say,’ That’s not enough’ is absurd, or to compel Americans whether they’ve had COVID or not to be able to have a behavior just because the President has quote, unquote lost patience is not who we are as Americans. It’s not constitutional. It will not stand in the courts and should not stand. We should push back on this.