JUNEAU — Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy said President Joe Biden’s effort to require millions of U.S. workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 is “ill conceived, divisive, and un-American.”
“At a time in which we are called to work together, forced medical procedures run counter to our collective sense of fairness and liberty,” the Republican said in a statement. “My administration is aggressively identifying every tool at our disposal to protect the inherent individual rights of all Alaskans.”
The statement did not describe what that might entail.
Dunleavy has butted heads with the Biden administration on resource development issues. Dunleavy has faced some criticism in Alaska for not mandating masks or for not implementing a new disaster declaration to deal with a recent surge in COVID-19 cases. He has instead asked lawmakers to act on legislation aimed at addressing staffing concerns raised by health care facilities.
In his statement Friday, Dunleavy said that it is “clear from the data and empirical evidence over the last year that the vaccine is the most effective way to fight COVID-19. From what we are seeing in our hospitals, the very ill are mostly those who are unvaccinated.”
“As Governor, and as someone who had COVID and has been vaccinated, I will continue to recommend that Alaskans speak to their healthcare providers and discuss the merits of the vaccine based on their individual healthcare needs,” he said.