Story at a glance

  • Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin issued an executive order banning vaccine passports and mandatory COVID-19 testing.
  • Gov. Brad Little has said he will reverse McGeachin’s action upon his return to the state.
  • "I am in Texas performing my duties as the duly-elected governor of Idaho, and I have not authorized the Lt. Governor to act on my behalf," Little said in a statement.

Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin — who served as acting governor while Gov. Brad Little (R) was out of state — issued an executive order Wednesday banning vaccine passports and mandatory COVID-19 testing at schools. 

“Today, as Acting Governor, I fixed Gov. Little's Executive Order on ‘vaccine passports’ to make sure that K-12 schools and universities cannot require vaccinations OR require mandatory testing. I will continue to fight for your individual Liberty!” McGeachin, who is opposing Little in next year’s election, tweeted.

Little previously issued a similar executive order that prohibits mandates requiring proof of vaccinations at state agencies. McGeachin’s move adds a ban on vaccine requirements at public K-12 schools and universities and bans mandatory COVID-19 testing for those trying to access state services. Little says he will reverse McGeachin’s addition when he returns to the state, NBC News reported

"I am in Texas performing my duties as the duly-elected governor of Idaho, and I have not authorized the Lt. Governor to act on my behalf," Little said in a statement. 

But Idaho’s constitution places the lieutenant governor in charge when the governor is out of state


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This is not the first time McGeachin has made sweeping changes in Little’s absence. In May while the governor was at a Republican conference in Tennessee, McGeachin issued an order banning mask mandates in schools and government buildings. Little had not issued mask requirements and called the McGeachin’s act “a self-serving political stunt.” 

There have been more than 263,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2,994 deaths in Idaho since the beginning of the pandemic, according to data collected by The New York Times. Approximately 42 percent of the state is fully vaccinated.


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Published on Oct 06, 2021