Mississippi governor: Biden vaccine mandates an 'attack' on 'hard-working Americans'

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) in an interview on Sunday criticized President BidenJoe BidenHow 'Buy American', other pro-US policies can help advocates pass ambitious climate policies Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by Raytheon Technologies — Biden backtracks on Taiwan Photos of the Week: Manchin protestor, Paris Hilton and a mirror room MORE's vaccine mandates as an "attack" on "hard-working Americans."

"The question here is not about what we do in Mississippi, it's about what this president is trying to impose on the American worker," Reeves said on CNN's "State of the Union."

"The reality is this is an attack by the president on hard-working Americans and hard-working Mississippians who he wants to choose between getting a jab in their arm and their ability to feed their families," Reeves said.  

Reeves also argued that the mandates were in an effort "to change the political narrative away from Afghanistan and away from the other issues that are driving his poll numbers into ground."

CNN's Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperJon Stewart: It's a 'mistake' to focus all on Trump Buttigieg says delay in climate action will cost lives amid reports of Manchin roadblock Buttigieg says supply chain troubles could last into next year MORE noted that Mississippi leads the nation in COVID-19 deaths per capita, adding that if the state were a country, it would rank second in the world for most COVID-19 deaths. 

In response, Reeves said that deaths were "a lagging indicator" and said the state's deaths had declined from spikes earlier in the pandemic. 

Biden earlier this month announced a new rule to require all private employers with 100 or more employees to mandate vaccines or weekly testing. Biden is also dramatically expanding vaccination requirements for health workers.