Kelly speaks out against federal vaccine mandates

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelley said it's "too late" to impose COVID-19 vaccine mandates now that states have tailored their own responses to the pandemic. Federal mandates "tend not to work," she said. Republicans were skeptical of her comments.


State News

November 5, 2021 - 2:58 PM


TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly grew more forceful Friday in opposing President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates, saying it’s “too late” in the coronavirus pandemic to impose them after Kansas and other states tailored responses to their needs.

Kelly’s latest statement came a day after she argued that federal mandates “tend not to work,” though they’ve boosted vaccination rates elsewhere. She faces a difficult race for reelection next year in her Republican-leaning state, and GOP officials have been attacking the Democratic president’s mandates for weeks and criticizing Kelly for not making any public comments until Thursday. 

“While I appreciate the intention to keep people safe, a goal I share, I don’t believe this directive is the correct, or the most effective, solution for Kansas,” Kelly said in her latest statement. 

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