AP Wire Michigan Sports

No. 25 Michigan Wolverines football team aims to keep momentum flowing vs. Northern Illinois

AP Sports Writer
ANN ARBOR — No. 25 Michigan has earned some momentum and has no plans to slow down against Northern Illinois.
The Wolverines (2-0) began the season unranked and with relatively low expectations from outside the program for Jim Harbaugh’s seventh season. They have started to change the conversation with a strong start so far, routing Washington and Western Michigan with a run-heavy offense and swarming defense.
Michigan will have to do more than beat Northern Illinois (1-1) on Saturday and against Rutgers next week at home to win everyone over. But perhaps those games will prepare the Wolverines for the Oct. 2 test at No. 18 Wisconsin.
Entering the game at the Big House, Northern Illinois coach Thomas Hammock has been telling his players they have a great opportunity.
“Nobody gives you a chance, so there’s no pressure whatsoever,” Hammock said. “The only thing that you should feel is, ‘Can I go out there and play my best and get Michigan to respect and recognize who we are as a football program?’ That should be the excitement. Embrace it.”
Harbaugh, meanwhile, tells anyone who will listen to respect the Huskies after beating Georgia Tech and rallying from a 26-point deficit against Wyoming before coming up short.


thern Illinois QB Rocky Lombardi is set to play at Michigan Stadium for a third time.
The transfer led Michigan State to a 27-23 win over the Wolverines last year, throwing for a career-high 323 yards and three touchdowns. Lombardi also made his college debut at Michigan Stadium three years ago.
Lombardi tossed a touchdown pass to Tyrice Richie and passed for a 2-point conversion with 38 seconds left in the opener, lifting the Huskies to a win at Georgia Tech. He threw three interceptions in the loss to Wyoming, but Hammock noted two of those passes were deflected.

The Wolverines ran the ball 52 times, keeping it for 34-plus minutes against Washington last week. They easily won time of possession and Harbaugh noted that’s not easy for a no-huddle team to do.
“Possession is nine-tenths of the law, so when you can have more than them, it’s a good thing,” Harbaugh said.
Michigan has had the luxury of leaning heavily on its run game with two dynamic running backs and an offensive line that has gelled.
Blake Corum, the Big Ten offensive player of the week, has 282 yards rushing in two games to rank No. 8 in the country and Hassan Haskins has run for 225 yards.

AP Wire Michigan Sports

Michigan State Spartans underdogs at No. 24 Miami

AP Sports Writer
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Michigan State’s offense has been a surprise this season.
So has Miami’s, in a very different way.
The Spartans (2-0) are moving the football more easily than they have in years, and they’ll look to keep that going on Saturday when they visit No. 24 Miami (1-1) in their first matchup in more than 30 years.
Michigan State has put up at least 38 points in back-to-back regular season games for the first time since 2015 and has topped the 500-yard mark in consecutive games for the first time since 2014. Plus, the Spartans have led for nearly an impossible 99.7% of the time in their first two games — after getting 75-yard touchdowns on the opening play of each contest.
“Obviously, we want to be efficient when we run the plays,” Michigan State coach Mel Tucker said. “The plays are drawn up to be successful, not to fail.”
The Hurricanes averaged 440 yards of offense per game last season and 6 yards per play; so far this season, they’re averaging 320.5 yards of offense and 4.6 yards per play. Granted, playing No. 1 Alabama in the opener skews those numbers considerably — but Miami heard plenty of boos from its home fans last week when it had to squeak out a 25-23 win over Appalachian State on a late field goal from Andres Borregales.
“We have to play a lot better,” Miami quarterback D’Eriq King said.
Wake Forest transfer Kenneth Walker III has provided a huge lift for Michigan State, with 321 rushing yards already this season. He’s gotten 30 carries in the two games for the Spartans and was stopped for a loss only once.
“He’s explosive, he’s got good vision, he’s got very good ball skills, plays with really good toughness,” Tucker said. “And getting to know him, he’s a first-class individual. He’s very high character, unselfish, team-oriented player and those are the types of players we need here that can help us be successful.”

Youngstown State’s Jaleel McLaughlin, center, is stopped by Michigan State defenders, including Quavaris Crouch, left, and Jacub Panasiuk, right, on Saturday in East Lansing. (AP photo)
National News

McConnell unmoved on debt limit, risking turmoil for Biden

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration has been enlisting one emissary after another to convince Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell to help raise the federal debt limit.
It’s not working.
Despite the high-level conversations, including a call from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, the GOP leader is digging in and playing political hardball. He’s telling all who will listen that it’s up to the Democrats, who have narrow control of Congress, to take the unpopular vote over federal borrowing on their own.
McConnell’s stance is deepening a political standoff and risking turbulence in the financial markets that could ripple into the broader economy. His refusal to rally Republican votes leaves Democrats with only tough choices as they rush to ensure the nation does not default on any of its accumulated debt, which now stands at $28.4 trillion.
President Joe Biden and the Democratic leaders, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, spoke late Thursday. The White House said after the call that keeping the government running and ensuring the full faith and credit of the United States are bipartisan responsibilities.
“Any suggestion by Republicans that they will shirk their responsibility is indefensible,” the White House said.
While there is little doubt the Democrats will be able to avert a crisis and vote to allow additional borrowing, the path ahead is uncertain and potentially treacherous.
“We are working, there are a number of different options,” Schumer told reporters earlier this week at the Capitol. “We will do it because its imperative to do it. And Leader McConnell, as I said, is playing dangerous political games by not stepping up to the plate.”
The showdown is sparking a fiscal battle that is reminiscent, but different, from those that have set Washington and Wall Street on edge at times over the past decade. Unlike the brinksmanship of past battles, this one is unique in that there is no deal to be brokered — McConnell simply will not participate.
Late Wednesday, McConnell warned Yellen he is not changing his mind. “The leader repeated to Secretary Yellen what he has said publicly since July,” said McConnell spokesman Doug Andres. “They will have to raise the debt ceiling on their own and they have the tools to do it.”
It was a similar situation Tuesday when Hank Paulson, who was Treasury secretary in the Bush administration, paid McConnell a visit at the Capitol.
Lawmakers appear to have only a few weeks to devise a plan for approving the federal government’s debt limit before the U.S. Treasury is forced to delay or miss payments.
Stocks and bonds have been relatively calm recently, indicating investors expect Washington will ultimately reach a deal on the debt ceiling. The S&P 500 remains within 2% of its record set two weeks ago, and prices in the bond market are moving more on reports about the economy and inflation. But the ride could get bumpier in coming weeks.
Because they’re seen as the world’s safest possible investments, U.S. Treasury bills and bonds form the bedrock for financial markets. So a default on the U.S. debt would quickly cascade through markets around the world.
Treasury spokeswoman Lily Adams said in statement Thursday, “Secretary Yellen will continue to talk to Republicans and Democrats about the critical need to swiftly address the debt ceiling in a bipartisan manner, to avoid the catastrophic economic consequences of default.”
The debt limit caps the amount of money Treasury can borrow to keep the government running and pay its debts.
Once a routine task in Congress that brought grumbling from lawmakers but not high-stakes opposition, votes to increase or suspend the debt ceiling are now often contentious.
The debt ceiling vote became a political weapon in 2011, wielded by a new class of tea party Republicans eager to confront the Obama administration as the debt load ballooned during the Great Recession. Prolonged and heated discussions during that crisis risked a federal default, a first in the modern era, but eventually a deal was brokered to begin to curtail spending levels.
Democrats note that on three occasions during President Donald Trump’s presidency, they worked with a Republican-controlled Senate and White House to suspend the borrowing limit. They are insisting that Republicans reciprocate and share in what can be a politically unpopular vote that allows the government to not only promptly pay its bills but also to take on more debt.
But in McConnell’s view, if Democrats are going to go it alone to push Biden’s $3.5 trillion budget plan through Congress, they can use their majority to shoulder the debt limit vote.
According to Andres, McConnell told Yellen, “This is a unified Democrat government, engaging in a partisan reckless tax and spending spree.”
An Associated Press analysis of data from the U.S. Treasury shows that nearly 98% of the nation’s $28.4 trillion debt predates Biden’s inauguration in January. That includes about $7.8 trillion heaped onto the pile during Trump’s four-year presidency.
One option would be for Democrats to force the issue by holding a debt ceiling vote either on its own as part of a must-pass bill to keep the government funded past Oct. 1 — and try to make McConnell and the Republicans blink.
It would take 60 votes in the evenly divided Senate, 50-50, to overcome a Republican filibuster, but it’s not at all clear McConnell or any other GOP senators would break ranks to join Democrats.
Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., predicted McConnell will hold firm. “I think he is like that Missouri mule that just sat down in the mud and is not going to budge.”
If Republicans refuse to help, Democrats may need to take the more cumbersome route of amending their $3.5 billion budget resolution to include the debt ceiling. That vote would need just 51 votes for approval, with Vice President Kamala Harris able to cast the tie-breaking vote.
Yellen has been using “extraordinary measures” to conserve cash. But once those measures and cash on hand are fully exhausted, the U.S. will have to rely on incoming receipts to pay its obligations, forcing the Treasury to delay or miss payments. Yellen has projected that moment will arrive sometime in October.

International Headlines

China applies to join Pacific trade pact abandoned by Trump

BEIJING (AP) — China has applied to join an 11-nation Asia-Pacific free trade group in an effort to increase its influence over international policies.
Commerce Minister Wang Wentao submitted an application to the trade minister of New Zealand as a representative of the Comprehensive and Progress Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Commerce Ministry announced Thursday.
The CPTPP originally was the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a group promoted by then-President Barack Obama as part of Washington’s increased emphasis on relations with Asia. China was not included in the initial group and Obama’s successor, Donald Trump, pulled out in 2017.
President Joe Biden has not rejoined the group.
An official Chinese newspaper, Global Times, said the application cements Beijing’s “leadership in global trade” and leaves the United States “increasingly isolated.”
The CPTPP, which took effect in 2018, includes agreements on market access, movement of labor and government procurement.
Other members include Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Britain is negotiating to join. If China joins, that would quadruple the total population within the group to some 2 billion people.
China’s government has promised to increase imports of goods but faces complaints it is failing to carry out promises made when it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001 to open finance and other service industries.
China is also a member of various other trading arrangements, including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which includes many nations in Asia that are not part of the CPTPP.

International Headlines

Putin: Dozens in inner circle infected with coronavirus

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin says dozens of his staff have been infected with the coronavirus and that he will continue his self-isolation because of the outbreak.
The Kremlin announced earlier this week that he would self-isolate after someone in his inner circle was infected although Putin had tested negative for the virus and he’s fully vaccinated with Russia’s Sputnik V. But Putin said Thursday the infections were extensive.
“Cases of coronavirus have been identified in my immediate environment, and this is not one, not two, but several tens of people. Now we have to observe the self-isolation regime for several days,” he said by video link to a summit of the Russia-led Collective Treaty Security Organization.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that those infected were “mainly those who take part in ensuring the work and activities of the head of state, his security.” None of the cases are severe, he said.
Although Russia was the first country to roll out a coronavirus vaccine, less than 30% of the country is fully vaccinated.
The national coronavirus task force says about 7.2 million infections have been recorded in the country of 145 million, with 195,835 deaths.

International Headlines

EU earmarks 30 billion euros for health crisis agency

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union said Thursday that it will fund its new health preparedness and rapid response agency to the tune of 30 billion euros ($35 billion) over the next six years, even pushing it higher if individual efforts from the member nations and private sector are taken into account.
Caught off guard by the sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, the 27-nation bloc long lagged behind the U.S. and Britain in vaccination rates before regrouping and meeting its goal of having 70% of EU adults vaccinated this summer.
With Thursday’s official launch of the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority, or HERA, it wants to make sure the bloc will be ready when the next crisis strikes.
“We need to be better prepared for future health crises. HERA will establish new, adaptable production capacities and secure supply chains to help Europe react fast when needed,” EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said.
HERA will be able to draw from several of the EU’s Byzantine budget lines for a total of almost 30 billion euros ($35 billion). This however excludes investments at member nation level and from the private sector.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who first announced plans for such a medical response agency last year, said this week that the overall total until 2027 could reach 50 billion euros ($59 billion) by 2027.
During the crisis, the EU saw the limits of its health outreach because the essence of pandemic policies are still handled at national level. The EU was slow in getting the first shots in the arms of citizens and the public uproar about initial shortages was such that the need for HERA quickly became apparent.
“HERA will have the clout and budget to work with industry, medical experts, researchers and our global partners to make sure critical equipment, medicines and vaccines are swiftly available when and as necessary,” European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas.
While some nations like the United States and Britain fully centered on getting their own people vaccinated first, the EU continued to export doses amid the pandemic. Von der Leyen stressed that on top of delivering 700 million vaccine doses to Europeans, the 27-nation bloc had also sent as many shots to 130 nations.
“We are the only region in the world to achieve this,” she said in her State of the Union address on Wednesday.
HERA should be fully operational as of early next year.

International Headlines

Zimbabwe orders government workers to get COVID vaccinations

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe’s government has ordered all its employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or they won’t be allowed to come to work.
The Public Service Commission, which is in charge of employment conditions for government workers, issued an internal notice Wednesday ordering employees to get vaccinated.
“All civil servants should be vaccinated without delay, and unvaccinated members shall not be allowed to report for duty,” said the notice, which has been seen by The Associated Press. The commission “urged” heads of government departments to make arrangements for their employees to be vaccinated “and to explain to any who elect not to be vaccinated that they will not be deemed to be working.”
It wasn’t made clear what would happen to employees who refused to be vaccinated, although state-owned newspaper The Herald reported that the government would adopt a policy where unvaccinated workers wouldn’t be paid.
Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa announced the mandatory vaccination program for government workers earlier this week. She didn’t give any timeframe for workers to receive vaccinations and also didn’t clarify what the repercussions would be for any who refused.
The government is Zimbabwe’s biggest employer and has about 500,000 workers.
Zimbabwe is one of the leading countries in Africa in terms of vaccinations, with more than 12% of the country’s 15 million people fully vaccinated. That compares to just 3.6% of people across Africa who have been fully vaccinated, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Zimbabwe has received more than 11 million doses, mainly Chinese Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines.
The southern African nation announced last month that it was opening COVID-19 vaccinations to children between the ages of 14 and 17, one of the first countries in Africa to do that. It was already offering jabs to anyone 18 or older.

National News

Job market disconnect raises concerns over economic recovery

The gulf between record job openings and a lack of people taking those jobs is forcing Wall Street to reassess the pace of the economic recovery.
Jobs were gutted during the pandemic and employment growth has been a closely watched gauge for investors. Increasing employment eventually results in increased consumer spending, which is the biggest driver of economic growth. Without the former, analysts have said, it will take longer than expected for the economy to operate at some semblance of a pre-pandemic normal.
“That time horizon keeps getting extended,” said Rob Haworth, senior investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management.
The Labor Department has reported that job openings reached 10.9 million in July, the most on record dating to 2000. Yet, there were roughly 8.7 million people considered unemployed during that same month, which is the biggest gap of its kind between available jobs and the unemployed since the Labor Department started keeping track of job openings in 2000.
Typically, the gap is much wider the other way, with more people unemployed then there are job openings.
Rising COVID-19 cases are one of the biggest culprits driving the jobs divide. People are hesitant to head back to work because of health concerns as the highly contagious delta variant spreads, analysts have said. Many are also concerned about childcare as schools open for a new year with a high level of unpredictability because of the virus.
More than 22 million jobs were lost through March and April of 2020 when the pandemic prompted widespread business shutdowns. Roughly 16.8 million of those jobs have returned through July of 2021 in a seemingly swift recovery, but the employment crisis still remains more severe than the recessions of 1974, 1981, 1990 and 2001 were at their worst, according to Ross Mayfield, investment strategist at Baird.
“The developments in the labor market are among the more important in the world today,” Mayfield said, in a note to investors. “A lagging recovery will keep the Federal Reserve on the sidelines, but also limit economic growth.”
The Federal Reserve is also closely watching the recovery in the jobs market. The central bank has made it a priority to maintain its policy to keep interest rates low until it is satisfied with the jobs recovery. That has left investors torn between balancing the benefit of a sluggish jobs recovery that prolongs low interest rates with the damage to longer term growth if the economy continues struggling to make a full recovery.
The inability to get back to some semblance of a full staff means that many companies, particularly in the services sector, can’t take full advantage of increases in consumer demand. Hotels, for example, have trouble meeting any increase in demand if they don’t have the full staff to service paying guests.
The divide between job openings and people taking those jobs has also prompted companies to raise wages and offer bonuses. Those higher wages have raised concerns from analysts that wage inflation could add to already increasing inflation and crimp the broader recovery.
“Lots of firms are coming out and we’re starting to see some bearish forecasts,” said Katie Nixon, chief investment officer at Northern Trust Wealth Management. “We’re now seeing some strategists sort of take their foot off the accelerator.”

National News

Small agency, big job: Biden tasks OSHA with vaccine mandate

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration doesn’t make many headlines. Charged with keeping America’s workplaces safe, it usually busies itself with tasks such as setting and enforcing standards for goggles, hardhats and ladders.
But President Joe Biden this month threw the tiny Labor Department agency into the raging national debate over federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates. The president directed OSHA to write a rule requiring employers with at least 100 workers to force employees to get vaccinated or produce weekly test results showing they are virus free.
The assignment is sure to test an understaffed agency that has struggled to defend its authority in court. And the legal challenges to Biden’s vaccine mandate will be unrelenting: Republican governors and others call it an egregious example of government overreach. South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster vowed to fight the mandate “to the gates of hell.”
“There are going to be some long days and nights for the folks who are drafting this rule,” says labor lawyer Aaron Gelb, a partner in the Chicago office of Conn Maciel Carey. “It’s an interesting time to be an OSHA lawyer for sure.”
When Congress created OSHA 50 years ago to police workplace safety, 38 workers were dying on the job every day. Now that figure is closer to 15 — even though the American workforce is has more than doubled in the interim. OSHA writes rules designed to protect workers from dangers such as toxic chemicals, rickety scaffolding and cave-ins at construction sites.
“The hazard in this case is the infectious worker,” says epidemiologist David Michaels, OSHA director in the Obama administration. “This rule will tell employers: You have to take steps to make sure potentially infectious workers don’t come into the workplace.”
OSHA will use its power under a 1970 law to issue an expedited rule – called an “emergency temporary standard” or ETS — and bypass its own cumbersome rulemaking process, which typically takes nearly eight years from beginning to end, according to a 2012 study by the Government Accountability Office. To fast-track the rule, OSHA must show that it is acting to protect workers from a “grave danger.”
The mandate the White House announced this month will cover 80 million employees — nearly two-thirds of the private sector workforce. Employers that don’t comply could face penalties of up to $13,600 per violation.
Businesses are anxious to see how OSHA handles questions like: Which vaccines and tests are acceptable and which aren’t? How should employers handle requests from employees who seek exemptions on medical or religious grounds? Who’s going to pay for the testing? Some employers won’t be happy if they have to foot the bill for employees who refuse free vaccinations.
Once it’s out, the rule would take effect in 29 states where OSHA has jurisdiction, according to a primer by the law firm Fisher Phillips. Other states such as California and North Carolina that have their own federally approved workplace safety agencies would have up to 30 days to adopt equivalent measures. The OSHA rule would last six months, after which it must be replaced by a permanent measure.
“There are going to be legal challenges brought to whatever rule,” attorney Gelb said. “OSHA is going to really devote time and effort to drafting a rule that will survive those legal challenges.” He predicts the rule won’t be published in the Federal Register until November.
The agency is already often stretched thin. Even including what OSHA calls its “partners” at state workplace safety agencies, there are only 1,850 inspectors to oversee 130 million workers at 8 million workplaces. “It is not helpful to have a critical agency like this understaffed, particularly because of moments like this,” says Celine McNicholas, director of government affairs at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute.
Until June, when it issued a COVID-related ETS covering the health care industry, OSHA hadn’t implemented an emergency rule since 1983. Overall, it has issued 10. But courts have overturned four and partially blocked a fifth, according to the Congressional Research Service.
Michaels, now a professor of public health at George Washington University, says the “grave danger” is obvious in a country battling a pandemic that has killed more than 650,000 Americans. “OSHA’s plan very clearly fits those requirements,” he says. “And I’m not worried about a court saying it doesn’t.”
Many employers may welcome the mandate. They wanted to require vaccines but feared alienating their workers who resist being coerced into getting inoculated. “Most employers in my view should greet this with relief,” says McNicholas, former special counsel at the National Labor Relations Board. “This gives them a roadmap of exactly what they need to do.”
Then again, at a time when companies are posting job openings faster than applicants can fill them, some big employers fear losing vaccine-resistant employees to smaller businesses that aren’t covered by the mandate. “It may actually help these smaller businesses who are struggling to attract employees,” says Nicholas Hulse, a Fisher Phillips labor lawyer based in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Hulse says the mandate is “going to be difficult to enforce.” OSHA, he says, likely will rely less on its own inspectors uncovering violations and more on complaints from insiders — workers who grow “frustrated either with the employer for not implementing it or with fellow employees who are not following the mandate.”
Former OSHA chief Michaels calls Biden’s mandate “a very good first step. But we need more.” He wants to see the rules expanded to smaller employers. “Until we stop this, losing hundreds of people every day to this disease, we’ll never get back to any sort of normalcy,” he says.
More than 175 million Americans are fully vaccinated. But 80 million of those eligible for inoculation haven’t yet received their first shot, the White House says.
The Biden administration is also requiring vaccinations for federal workers and contractors and for 17 million healthcare workers. Those initiatives plus the vaccination or testing mandate for big employers should add 12 million to the ranks of the vaccinated by March 2022, Goldman Sachs estimates.
“Most employers will voluntarily meet the standards because that’s what they do with all OSHA rules,” Michaels says. “Large employers in particular, they have (human resources) teams, they have attorneys who tell them: ‘This is what the law says and this is what we have to do’ … I think most employers are going to do the right thing here, and we’ll see very high levels of compliance pretty quickly.”

National News

GOP prosecutors threaten lawsuits over vaccine requirement

Two dozen Republican attorneys general warned the White House on Thursday of impending legal action if a proposed coronavirus vaccine requirement for as many as 100 million Americans goes into effect.
“Your plan is disastrous and counterproductive,” the prosecutors, led by Attorney General Alan Wilson of South Carolina, wrote in a letter sent to President Joe Biden. “If your Administration does not alter its course, the undersigned state Attorneys General will seek every available legal option to hold you accountable and uphold the rule of law.”
The letter is the latest GOP opposition to sweeping new federal vaccine requirements for private-sector employees, health care workers and federal contractors announced by Biden earlier this month. The requirement, to be enacted through a rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is part of an all-out effort to curb the surging COVID-19 delta variant.
The OSHA rule, which covers nearly two-thirds of the private sector workforce, would last six months, after which it must be replaced by a permanent measure. Employers that don’t comply could face penalties of up to $13,600 per violation.
Once it’s out, the rule would take effect in 29 states where OSHA has jurisdiction, according to a primer by the law firm Fisher Phillips. Other states like California and North Carolina that have their own federally approved workplace safety agencies would have up to 30 days to adopt equivalent measures.
Republican leaders — and some union chiefs, too — have said that Biden was going too far in trying to muscle private companies and workers. One of the first to speak out was Gov. Henry McMaster of South Carolina, who said on Twitter that his state would fight to “the gates of hell to protect the liberty and livelihood of every South Carolinian.”
Writing to Biden that the vaccine “edict is also illegal,” Wilson warned that courts have fully upheld only one of 10 emergency temporary OSHA standards in recent decades
The prosecutors also cautioned that the “edict is unlikely to win hearts and minds — it will simply drive further skepticism” over vaccines.
“Your vaccine mandate represents not only a threat to individual liberty, but a public health disaster that will displace vulnerable workers and exacerbate a nationwide hospital staffing crisis, with severe consequences for all Americans,” they write.
In lieu of vaccine or weekly testing requirements, the prosecutors proposed that some companies could have employees work remotely, rather than report in person.
In addition to Wilson in South Carolina, the letter was signed by attorneys general in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.