Vaccines against the pandemic that's killed over 600 thousand Americans have been free and widely available for months, but thanks to an onslaught of right-wing conspiracy theories broadcast everywhere from the dark corners of the internet all the way to Fox News.
These theories claim the vaccines carry microchips or magnets, or that they're the mark of the beast. They claim that any government efforts to implement vaccinations is a federal overreach, despite the centuries-long precedent of mandatory vaccinations for certain activities and careers.
This has been a key obstacle of the Biden administration's vaccination campaign—an obstacle that's only worsened in the face of the deadlier, more contagious Delta variant.
On Thursday, President Biden announced a six part plan to combat the latest stage of the pandemic, much of which focused on vaccinations.
As part of that plan, Biden called on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a division of the Department of Labor, to require proofs of vaccination or weekly COVID tests for businesses employing 100 people or more.
He implored willfully unvaccinated Americans:
"[O]ur patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us. So please do the right thing, but just don't take it from me. Listen to the voices of unvaccinated Americans who are lying in hospital beds, taking their final breath, saying, 'If only I'd gotten vaccinated. If only.' It's a tragedy. Please don't let it become yours."
Unsurprisingly Republican governors across the nation railed against the announcement. Idaho Governor Kim Reynolds called the step "dangerous and unprecedented." Governors Brian Kemp of Georgia, Henry McMaster of South Carolina, and Mark Gordon of Wyoming have signaled intentions to fight the potential requirements in court.
Biden was asked about the looming lawsuit at an event on Friday, and he didn't seem fazed.
The President's initial answer was simple:
"Have at it."
"Look, I am so disappointed that particularly some Republican governors have been so cavalier with the health of these kids. So cavalier with the health of their communities. We're playing for real here. This isn't a game. And I don't know of any scientist out there in this field that doesn't think it makes considerable sense to do the six things I've suggested."
Many social media users applauded the response.
They joined him in chastising the Republican rhetoric around vaccines.
The vaccines have repeatedly proven to be safe and effective.