A Republican running for Senate in Ohio has called for “mass civil disobedience” in response to new vaccine mandates on large businesses.
JD Vance, bestselling author of the Hillbilly Elegy, claimed the only way to stop President Joe Biden’s “naked authoritarianism” was non-compliance with his order that every federal and private employer with more than 100 employees to take the vaccine or submit to weekly testing.
“Do not comply with the mandates. Do not pay the government fines,” he said.
“Don’t allow yourself to be bullied & controlled. Only mass civil disobedience will save us from Joe Biden’s naked authoritarianism.”
Mr Vance, a former venture capitalist, is polling well behind his main rival for the Republican nomination in Ohio, Josh Mandel.
The race for the vacant Senate seat has seen both candidates seek to cast themselves as the most extreme and unwavering supporter of former President Donald Trump.
Yesterday, Mr Mandel also issued a plea to his followers to “not comply” with the order.
“I call on my fellow Americans do not comply with the tyranny, and when the Gestapo show up at your door, you know what to do,” Mr Mandel said in a video posted to his social media account.
His comments were slammed by the Anti-Defamation League, which said: “Being asked to wear a mask or take an FDA-approved vaccine is not equivalent to the actions of the Gestapo in Nazi-era Germany or the systemic annihilation of an entire group of people.
“These comparisons are beyond the pale and need to stop.”
The Republican governors of South Dakota, Georgia, Texas and South Carolina have promised to challenge the mandate in court.
Mr Biden told GOP governors threatening to sue to “have at it”, and spoke of his frustration at the “cavalier” attitudes of Republican politicians towards the vaccine.