NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A day after President Joe Biden announced new federal vaccine requirements, which includes having employers with 100+ employees either mandating vaccines or testing weekly, the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry issued a statement in response to the president’s decision.

Vaccine and testing mandates are “not the right solution,” the chamber wrote. You can read the full statement below:

“The Tennessee Chamber and businesses across the state have worked diligently to ensure a safe and healthy workplace for employees and customers during this difficult time. We believe the COVID-19 vaccine is the most effective way to prevent the transmission of the virus and keep Tennessee’s economy on track. President Biden’s recent actions establishing significant vaccination verification and testing mandates for employers is not the right solution. In fact, over 76% of businesses, in a recent survey by the Tennessee Chamber, opposed the federal government dictating vaccination protocols to businesses.

Our country is in a severe workforce shortage crisis and these actions only stand to exacerbate the difficult staffing conditions employers find themselves in. This type of sweeping government mandate enforced through significant occupational safety requirements challenge our economic competitiveness and not the right thing to impose on private businesses at this time.”

Tracking COVID in Tennessee
📊 COVID-19 cases among TN school-age children
📊 Tennessee’s Current COVID-19 hospitalizations
📊 New COVID-19 cases and deaths reported by month

As of Friday, just under 43% of the state is fully vaccinated, with nearly 51% of Tennesseans having at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Tennessee Department of Health.