Thursday, September 16, 2021

Hackel’s defiant stand against Biden's vaccine mandate would make Trumpers proud

Posted By on Thu, Sep 16, 2021 at 11:04 AM

Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons
  • Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel.

Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel is pledging to resist President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate and even said he opposes requirements for employees to get tested for COVID-19.

Hackel, a Democrat in a county that twice voted for Donald Trump, is so opposed to vaccine mandates that he won’t attend the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual policy conference next week. Attendees are required to show proof of vaccination.

“I’m not in favor of mandating anything,” Hackel told conservative Detroit News columnist Nolan Finley.

Under Biden’s order, which he announced last week, employers with more than 100 workers are required to ensure that employees are vaccinated or take weekly tests. Macomb County has about 2,500 employees.

Asked if he’d terminate county employees for not following the order, Hackel responded, “No. God, no.”

“I have no intention of firing anyone for choosing not to be vaccinated. That’s a personal choice that people should be able to make for themselves.”

Hackel said the only way he would enforce the vaccine order is if “I’m forced to by some legal action and I realize there’s no way out. If there’s an opportunity for us to challenge this, or join a challenge, we’ll take a look.”

Hackel wouldn’t even say if he’s vaccinated himself.

“I won’t answer the question,” he said. “It bothers me that someone would even ask the question. I think it’s wrong. It’s unbelievable the bullying that goes on.”

Hackel is also the reason Macomb is the only county in metro Detroit that isn’t requiring students, staff, and teachers to wear masks at schools.

Macomb County has the lowest vaccine rate – 61.2% – in suburban Detroit. Oakland County’s vaccination rate is 72% and Wayne County’s is 69.4%. (In Detroit, which is not included in the Wayne County figures, 44% of residents are vaccinated.)

Nearly 100,000 Macomb County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and the virus led to the deaths of 2,429.

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