SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – As President Biden unleashed a new federal vaccine mandate and testing requirements for Americans he was met with opposition from many Utah politicians.

On Thursday, the Biden Administration announced that people who work at companies with 100 or more employees will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 4 or get tested for the virus weekly under government rules.

Governor Cox and Lt. Governor Henderson both released statements on Thursday in response to President Joe Biden’s most recent COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Gov. Cox expressed his opposition to the decision.

“The President’s vaccine mandate for businesses is a serious mistake. It’s outside the authority of the federal government and, as public health experts have pointed out, it is likely to exacerbate and broaden public resistance to all vaccines, which may outweigh any marginal benefit in terms of increased population immunity. “

Lt. Gov. Henderson encouraged vaccinations and also stated her opposition to Biden’s decision to make it a federal mandate.

“We continue to strongly encourage Utahns to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their loved ones, and to protect the hospital capacity that we all use. The vaccines are a miracle of science and represent the best way to end the pandemic, but a federal mandate is a heavy-handed overreach that will harden vaccine resistance and polarization. Workplace vaccination and testing policies should remain firmly the prerogative of business owners. We’re committed to fighting the mandate through every possible avenue.” 

The Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes also released a joint statement along with Senate President J. Stuart Adams, Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson, Utah State Auditor John Dougall, and Utah State Treasurer Marlo Oaks.

“The mandate the Biden Administration issued is a blatant attempt to exceed well-established limitations on federal authority and infringes upon the rights of private businesses and employees. Biden continues to be tone-deaf to a majority of Americans who oppose mandates.”