Idaho Lt. Gov. McGeachin faults governor, lawmakers on vaccines

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — State lawmakers and Republican Gov. Brad Little are failing citizens by not taking action to prevent employers from requiring employees get the COVID-19 vaccine, Republican Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin said Thursday.

McGeachin, who is running for governor, repeated her request from last week to reconvene the Legislature. She also faulted the executive branch without naming Little.

Three large health care providers announced policies last week requiring employees get COVID-19 vaccinations. Republican leaders in the House and Senate have been noncommittal about reconvening the Legislature amid concerns that government should generally not interfere with the work requirements of private businesses.

McGeachin held the news conference in the Statehouse, where she was backed by about 20 people, some identified as health care workers. About 75 supporters also filled the room, sometimes jeering reporters during the question portion of the news conference.

Supporters cheered when McGeachin said she would be acting governor on Thursday, meaning she could issue an executive order potentially stopping mandatory vaccines.

But Little’s office said he was only out of the state about 15 minutes earlier in the morning after landing in eastern Washington on his way to northern Idaho.

McGeachin afterward held a rally on the Statehouse steps that drew about 500 people.