SC leaders respond to McMaster’s tweets against Biden COVID policy

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said of Biden's COVID-19 policy that the state "would fight...
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said of Biden's COVID-19 policy that the state "would fight them to the gates of hell to protect the liberty and livelihood of every South Carolinian."(Live 5)
Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 5:13 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Leaders in South Carolina were quick to respond to the governor’s fiery answer to President Joe Biden’s newest vaccine requirements.

Gov. Henry McMaster vowed the state would “fight them to the gates of hell to protect the liberty and livelihood of every South Carolinian.” He made the statement in response to Biden’s announcement requiring all employers with more than 100 workers to require those workers to either be vaccinated or be tested weekly for COVID-19.

McMaster said Biden “and the radical Democrats” have turned the American Dream “into a nightmare” and have “declared war against capitalism, thumbed their noses at the Constitution and empowered our enemies abroad.”

Former U.S. Congressman Joe Cunningham, who is running to unseat McMaster as governor in 2022, claimed on Twitter that McMaster’s decisions are “killing our people.”

“These kinds of ridiculous statements are exactly why we’re still in this mess,” Cunningham said in reply to McMaster’s reaction.

He repeated a statement from an earlier campaign ad: “Step up and do your job or step aside for someone who will.”

State Rep. Wendell Gilliard, D-Charleston, released a statement Thursday afternoon in response to McMaster:

Your recent public statement on the Biden Administration would have served us greatly as a state and as a country if it had been squarely focused on the cowardly insurrection against our nation on January 6, if your words had spoke to the murders of the police officers who sacrificed their lives on that horrific day to protect Our Constitution and the actual will of the people. While you merely claim with false bravado and hollow insincerity that you would go to “the gates of Hell” to protect the Constitution, here in South Carolina we can’t even protect our own children, parents, and teachers from this evil virus because of the lack of integrity and void of actual courageous leadership from you and your office.

Republican South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, meanwhile, also weighed in on Biden’s announcement Thursday afternoon, saying his staff has begun reviewing the law and its legal standing.

“We will vigorously defend the rule of law and fight any overreach that may limit individuals’ personal freedoms,” he said on Twitter.

While large swaths of the private sector have already stepped in to mandate vaccinations for at least some of their employees, Biden’s sweeping new orders are taking vaccine decisions out of some employers’ hands.

“We’ve been patient. But our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us,” he said, all but biting off his words. The unvaccinated minority “can cause a lot of damage, and they are.”

Nationwide, Republican leaders — and some union chiefs, too — said Biden was going too far in trying to muscle private companies and workers, a certain sign of legal challenges to come.

The Associated Press reported that while Biden’s new orders are federal policy, some important details remain to be worked out.

Copyright 2021 WCSC. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.