Fox News anchor Chris Wallace repeatedly confronted Republican Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts over his opposition to the Biden administration’s new coronavirus vaccine mandates and requirements, highlighting the governor’s seemingly contradictory position on other vaccines.
After President Joe Biden announced a new series of rules that will mandate all federal employees to be vaccinated and require many private-sector employees to either be inoculated or tested weekly, several Republican governors—including Ricketts—threatened to fight the president’s requirements in court.
“Have at it,” Biden curtly responded to the GOP threats.
Interviewing Ricketts on Fox News Sunday, Wallace asked the governor why he was fighting the administration’s new COVID-19 rules, especially since Ricketts insisted that he’s been encouraging vaccines and believes they work in combatting the pandemic. The Nebraska governor, meanwhile, said he felt the government shouldn’t be mandating vaccinations.
“I've talked to a number of people,” Rickets declared. “They've told me, if they make me take the vaccine, I'm just going to be fired.”
Wallace retorted that Nebraska’s school system actually requires students to be vaccinated against a series of diseases, wondering aloud why Ricketts appeared to be fine with those requirements but not a mandate for the COVID-19 shots.
“You say it’s a personal choice. In fact, to attend school in your state of Nebraska, children must be vaccinated against a number of diseases. They must be vaccinated against Diptheria, tetanus, and pertussis; polio; measles, mumps, and rubella; Hepatitis B; chickenpox,” the veteran anchor said.
“Why are those mandates that parents in your state must comply with and do comply with routinely—why is it that they’re not so objectionable and such a violation of personal freedom but Biden’s vaccine mandates are?” Wallace continued.
After the Republican governor responded that those other vaccines have a “long history” of use and that Americans “don’t know what to trust” with the COVID-19 vaccines, Wallace pointed out that the polio vaccine was quickly mandated after it first became available and Americans “viewed it as a blessing” at the time.
“We’re in the middle of a pandemic,” the Fox News Sunday moderator added. “There is a new vaccine that Donald Trump was largely responsible for. It’s been approved—full approval—by the FDA. Again, if the polio vaccine is okay for parents and they have to comply with it to send their kid to school, why not for a lot of people, not just kids, the vaccine for this disease?”
Ricketts asserted that the surging coronavirus pandemic is “very different from polio” before claiming that “children are no more at risk for the coronavirus than they are the ordinary flu.” He also noted that the majority of COVID-19 deaths in his state were among senior citizens, adding that most state residents over 65 have already been vaccinated.