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Gov. McMaster says he will not stop businesses from mandating COVID-19 vaccinations

Gov. Henry McMaster commented after tour in Piedmont Wednesday
Gov. McMaster says he will not stop businesses from mandating COVID-19 vaccinations
Gov. McMaster says he will not stop businesses from mandating COVID-19 vaccinations(Meg Kinnard | AP)
Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 7:40 AM EDT
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PIEDMONT, S.C. (WIS) - South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster says South Carolina will not stop businesses from mandating COVID-19 vaccines.

In part, McMaster said, the state doesn’t have the authority to do so.

“Those are questions between employers and employees,” he said. “We want to protect that relationship and it let it be one of their choice. It’s their decisions. That’s free enterprise and the government should not interfere with free enterprise.”

He made the comments when asked by reporters, after a tour in Piedmont on Wednesday of Poly-Med, Inc.

The company makes biodegradable medical supplies, including mesh for hernia procedures. McMaster said the tour was part of his life sciences and Biomed initiative to bolster life sciences statewide.

His response comes as some companies — nationwide and in South Carolina — are moving forward with vaccine mandates.

In September, President Joe Biden announced his intent to mandate employers with 100 or more employees require vaccinations and conduct regular testing for those who do not get vaccinated.

On Monday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed an executive order, which bans private companies from mandating the COVID-19 vaccine. Still, some Texas companies will move forward with plans to mandate vaccinations for employees.

“I know him well,” said McMaster of Abbott. “He’s a remarkable man. But in South Carolina, we’re dealing with our situation in South Carolina, and our businesses and our people. And here, I don’t think that it’s the role of the state to interfere with that relationship.”

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