As Senate Bill 3 (SB3) was being debate on the floor of the state house last Friday during a special called pandemic related legislative session, State Representative Jim Gooch of Providence issued a statement condemning a recent nationwide mandate issued by President Joe Biden.

“As we debate this bill, I think most of us, especially on my side of the aisle, understand that one thing we have to do is try to be consistent,” Gooch said. “Consistent in the fact that we want to protect people as much as we can.”

He went on to say that he, and many of his colleagues do believe in mandates, adding that he had been wearing a mask most of the time that he had been back in Frankfort for the special called session.

“What I am seeing that is really bothering me is that not everywhere are we seeing that kind of consistency,” he said. “Just today the President of the United States made a list of requirements, whether it be vaccine requirements and other requirement on citizens of the United States. Requirements on citizens of the United States, tax payers, voters who actually voted for the people in power.”

Gooch was referring to a mandate issued by President Joe Biden earlier in the day on Friday. That mandate increases the federal requirement for vaccination, forcing all federal employees and contractors who work with the federal government to be vaccinated, removing the option to instead submit to regular COVID-19 testing.

The mandate also ordered all healthcare facilities that receive Medicaid or Medicare funding require all employees to be vaccinated, and order around 80 million Americans in the private workforce to either provide proof of vaccination or submit to weekly COVID-19 testing.

“At the same time they say we are really concerned about what this virus is doing and we are concerned about stopping the spread, so we are going to mandate that our citizens, our taxpayers, have to do things,” he said. “But at the same time, in the last five months, has allowed a million people to walk across the border unvaccinated and untested. I don’t want to hear him say he cares about the spread of this pandemic because he does not.”

Gooch’s comments drew applause from members of the Republican dominated house.

Contact Matt Hughes at or 270-667-2069

Contact Matt Hughes at or 270-667-2069