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Gov. Bill Lee calls President Biden's vaccine mandates "cynical and divisive"

Governor Bill Lee said that the mandate can divide people across the U.S., but also said that vaccines are an important tool to stop the spread of COVID-19.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Governor Bill Lee took to Twitter on Thursday to respond to mandates from President Joe Biden requiring millions of employees at businesses with more than 100 workers to get vaccinated for COVID-19.

Biden is also requiring vaccination for employees of the executive branch and contractors who do business with the federal government — with no option to test out. That covers several million more workers.

Governor Lee said that the requirement was "cynical and divisive." He went on to say that it divided businesses against employees and the federal government against the states. He called the requirements a power grab.

At the same time, he said that stopping the spread of COVID-19 requires cooperation and that the vaccine is the best tool available to stop the pandemic. He said mandates are the wrong approach, but did not specify in the tweets which approach he thought would work to get people vaccinated.

On Thursday, the Tennessee Department of Health reported 4,200 new cases of COVID-19 and 75 more deaths. They also said that 22 more people were hospitalized for COVID-19.