BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum today expressed his strong support for North Dakota’s legal challenge to the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate on private businesses with 100 or more employees.
North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem joined 10 other states in asking a court to stop the mandate from taking effect Jan. 4. In a meeting Thursday and when the proposed rule was first proposed in September, Burgum and Stenehjem discussed their shared opposition to the emergency temporary standard by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
“We wholeheartedly support the attorney general’s challenge to this illegal, misguided and unfairly applied rule. It’s not the role of the federal government – or the states – to force a vaccine mandate on private businesses,” Burgum said. “North Dakota has been a leader in making safe, effective vaccines available to all residents who want them, and we encourage those who haven’t received the vaccine to consult with their trusted medical provider. The Biden administration’s overreaching mandate will only add to vaccine skepticism and resistance and exacerbate labor challenges while intruding on states’ rights and personal freedoms. The courts should immediately block this OSHA emergency rule and protect the freedom of private employers to make decisions on vaccinations that are right for them and their businesses.”
Last week, Burgum also emphasized his support for a legal challenge filed Oct. 29 on behalf of North Dakota and nine other states to the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate on federal contractors.