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Arizona sues Biden administration over vaccine mandate for businesses

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Biden Brvoch

TUCSON (KVOA) - Arizona will officially challenge the federal COVID-19 vaccine requirements for businesses with 100 employees or more after Attorney General Mark Brnovich officially filed a lawsuit against President Joe Biden and his administration on Tuesday.

On Thursday, Biden outlined a six-pronged federal plan geared to boost COVID-19 after the United States surpassed 40 million positive cases on Tuesday. In that plan, the president announced several new nationwide COVID-19 policies, including a mandate that says all employers with more than 100 workers must require their employees to get vaccinated or receive weekly COVID-19 tests.

The Associated Press reported that this new requirement would affect "as many as 100 million people."

After voicing his criticisms on Biden's new COVID-19 policies, Arizona's attorney general filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona Tuesday asking for the court to rule that the new federal policies are unconstitutional, stating that the mandate "is one of the greatest infringements upon individual liberties, principles of federalism, and separation of powers ever attempted by an American President."

"President Biden will soon require a majority of private businesses, federal employees, federal contractors, and virtually all healthcare providers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or lose their jobs. However, migrants who cross the southern border illegally are not subject to any vaccination requirements even when released directly into the United States - where most will remain," the attorney general's office said in a press release. "This reflects an unmistakable—and unconstitutional—brand of favoritism in favor of illegal migrants."

According to Brnovich, the attorney general argues that the Equal Protection Clause favors "migrants that have crossed into the country illegally over legal U.S. citizens. The Biden Administration allows migrants to decline the vaccine, protecting their freedom and bodily autonomy more than American citizens."

To read the complaint in its entirety, click here.

In an interview with News 4 Tucson's Eric Fink, Pima County Health Director Theresa Cullen said she was not surprised by the attorney general's move to sue the Biden administration over its new vaccine policy.

Cullen said she is aligned with the Biden administration on the business requirements and believes the vaccine is an important tool to use in the the fight against COVID-19.

This news comes on the heels of the City of Tucson announcing that it will receive an update on its vaccine mandate for city employees after Brnovich said that the policy must be rescinded because it is against Arizona state law.

The City of Tucson is expected to hold a closed-study session at 1:30 p.m. and its regular public meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Arizona reported 117 new COVID-19 related deaths on Tuesday. The Associated Press reported that this was "the most in a single day since last February during the winter surge." This brought the COVID-19 overall death total to 19,304 cases.

The Grand Canyon State's overall case total rose to 1,053,487 cases after reporting 2,609 cases on Tuesday.

To register for a vaccine appointment, visit podvaccine.azdhs.gov or azhealth.gov/findvaccine, or call 1-844-542-8201.

To learn more about the vaccination sites, visit azdhs.gov.