Gov. Dunleavy: ‘No, Joe, mandates are not the answer’



By now it should be clear to anyone paying attention that President Joe Biden, with the help of many in Congress, is attempting to transform this country at break-neck speed into something that most Americans will not recognize. We are less than a year into his administration and are fully engaged in a serious battle for this country’s future. 

President Biden’s vaccine mandates are more examples of federal overreach that could have serious consequences for Alaska and must be fought.

That is why the State of Alaska joined nine other states in filing a lawsuit on Oct. 29 challenging the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for companies that do business with the federal government. And rest assured, Alaska will join with many other states to take legal action as soon as the Biden administration follows through with its announcement to use the Occupational Health and Safety Administration to force any private business with more than 100 employees to require its workforce to either vaccinate or submit to weekly testing.

Beyond the fact that my administration believes these mandates as applied to contractors and private businesses are unconstitutional, Alaska is a perfect example of why the Biden mandate is completely unnecessary. 

Regardless of what armchair politicians and political detractors say, if people are truly honest with themselves, they should recognize that Alaska has handled Covid better than nearly every other state in the U.S. We led the U.S. (and most of the world) in testing very early in the pandemic. Additionally, unlike Texas and other states, we never had a mask mandate. We were also the first to remove our emergency declaration, even though other states like South Dakota continued theirs for months after ours ended. 

Even with today’s delta variant surge, Alaska has some of the lowest death rates in the country. We have the second-fewest deaths and the fourth-fewest deaths per capita. Just over the past month, my administration has also brought 457 health care workers to Alaska to aid our providers.

When vaccines became available, Alaska led the nation in distribution and vaccination rate. Not because of force or coercion, but because people freely chose to get one. Our state was the first to provide monoclonal antibodies as an effective therapeutic for Covid, and despite what some are falsely claiming, the State of Alaska has never prevented doctors and pharmacists from prescribing or dispensing other therapeutics, such as Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine. I have always advocated for individuals to work with their doctors to establish the best treatment possible for Covid and will continue to do so.

I have also been very public about opposing mandates related to Covid. While there is evidence that some Covid mitigations help, mandates cannot eradicate this virus. Despite this reality, the President chose to mandate vaccinations for federal workers, those who contract with the federal government, and for our brave women and men in the military. 

The U.S. and Alaska constitutions prevent me as governor from overriding some federal decisions on mandates. Thus, not I, nor any governor, has the legal authority to nullify Biden’s mandate for federal employees or the military. Opposition to this part of the mandate will have to come from individuals and Congress, and it will be litigated at the highest levels.

I applaud Sen. Dan Sullivan for speaking out recently against the President’s mandate. Our federal delegation, and ultimately the U.S. Supreme Court, are the proper means by which this part of the mandate should and will be attacked.

It is important to address some confusion about how the mandate impacts private businesses. This part of the mandate has not been implemented by the Biden Administration, and as of yet, not even a proposed rule has been released. Despite this, some companies are choosing to require their employees to get vaccinated. 

Any employee negatively impacted by a private company’s human resources policy should discuss that with their employer and their collective bargaining unit if applicable. 

Let this be clear: I am opposed to government mandates of any kind related to the Covid-19 vaccine, but not because I oppose the vaccine. Data shows that the vaccine is an effective way to protect people from getting seriously ill and dying from the virus. 

It is possible to be pro-vaccine and anti-mandate. I’m opposed to vaccine mandates because I do not believe that the government should use the force of law to make people get a medical treatment they don’t agree with or don’t need, perhaps because they’ve already contracted Covid and have natural immunity. 

I also believe we should be very cautious when intruding into private businesses decisions, workplace rules, and vaccination policy. Just as I don’t believe the government can order a private business to require vaccines, I don’t believe that government should keep private businesses from requiring a vaccination if they think that it is best for their employees and customers. 

Using the power of government to dictate to an employer whether they can or cannot require vaccination is a slippery slope that all should be leery of. 

Our system of government, with its three branches and system of checks and balances, is not only unique but is the reason why we do not have dictators and despots. It protects us from the tyranny of the majority through our representative form of government. 

Some have sown the seeds of disharmony in our state by politicizing the virus and insisting that I mandate what they want and limit the freedom of others. That is a road on which I will not travel because it leads to a destination that Alaskans do not want to reach.

Tyranny, whether it comes from the left or the right, is still tyranny that we should all fear.

– Gov. Mike Dunleavy

Tyranny, whether it comes from the left or the right, is still tyranny that we should all fear. One of the main purposes of the U.S. and Alaska constitutions is to outline what powers the people give government. It is a limiting document for government, and we should all be thankful for that. 

I am often asked by Alaskans to “do something.” This can be a dangerous request. Thank goodness for our constitutions, for the “something” I do today that tests or exceeds the bounds of executive power could become a regret that lasts far longer.

Be very careful what you wish for when your “side” temporarily holds power. The Constitution’s limiting powers are in place because the Founding Fathers understood that the challenging days that we’re seeing now would be a test for all of us, and that tyranny and despotism are always just a step away.

We must remember Benjamin Franklin’s quote attributed to him after the signing of the Constitution in 1787 when asked what kind of government had just been created: “A republic, if you can keep it.”

One of the main purposes of the U.S. and Alaska constitutions is to outline what powers the people give government. It is a limiting document for government, and we should all be thankful for that. 

I took an oath to protect and defend our constitution and republican form of government, and that includes accepting the limits it places on my executive power. I will not break my oath.

Mike Dunleavy was elected Alaska’s 12th governor in 2018.


  1. Do-Nothing-Dunleavy has a big mouth and nothing to back it up with. Senior executive in the entire state and he waits for other people to act first. There is no one in front of you, bozo. Do your job.

    • Brush up on Civics. If you have feckless cowards like Revak and sellouts like Rasmussen and people
      Like Stutes et al, calling themselves and working against you? It’s hard for any executive to get anything done.

      You complain when he doesn’t talk, when everyone knows the judiciary and legislative branch have his hands tied—then he talks- and you say he’s not a man of action! Good grief! Learn how your state works.

      And BTW-Who would you replace him with, Walker? Reinbold? Parnell? Palin? Murkowski?

      Please- more hot air from the do nothing class that doesn’t donate..doesn’t make phone calls, carry signs, host events.. just a bunch of whining from whiners who never take a step towards making it better then try to tear down anyone who does without acknowledging the spineless sellouts and backstabbers in our own party is why nothing ever goes anywhere. This guy has done all we asked him to do, and it’s been REPUBLICANS who have stopped him. Why don’t you save some of your phony indignation for them?

      Gimme a break.

      • He is mostly right. I told Dunleavy about this stuff and what was coming months ago. He seemed clueless. He could do so much more to protect jobs and individual liberty like the great governors of Texas and Florida. He hasn’t. He should absolutely expect some anger.

      • Lawrence, I agree that there are folks that will Female Dog on these columns but then don’t actually get out and make the effort to change things for the better. I feel your frustration here. I also know that we are suffering from an extreme leadership crisis in Alaska.
        It didn’t used to be like this, Alaska had in times past, (mostly before OIL $$$) elected good leaders from both parties, men and women who loved Alaska, were accomplished in their field of endeavor in life and brought substance and experience to governing. Today we have a professional political class, this bunch is shallow, inexperienced and in some cases just stupid. But hey they win elections!
        Your man Big Mike got my vote last time around, I might point out that his leadership has been sporadic and he has been ill advised on many issues. Essentially he is a product of the group I described above. Can he do better in the nest 4 years? I sure hope so, because Alaska cannot long endure what we have gotten to date.

    • Instead of bashing Dunleavy, we should be throwing our support behind him. He is our best chance, and the last thing we need is to undermine the good men who are working day and night for us. Bronson included.

      • Maybe after he does something concrete for individual liberty that actually reverses some of this tyrannical madness?

  2. ‘Just over the past month, my administration has also brought 457 health care workers to Alaska to aid our providers.’
    And if leadership had pushed the republican majority of the legislature (cowering before progressives), those 457 might not have had to replace fired workers.

  3. Then quit with the half measures. You are the governor. Act like it.
    That is why people like myself might back you in a general against much worse, but I only back solid conservatives with spines who will fight for individual liberty in a primary.

  4. Blah, Blah, Blah from Governor Stands Small. Talk is cheap. Fire Anne Zink, stop threatening providers over prescribing HCQ and Ivermectin. Make the hospitals treat people instead of killing them.

    • Agreed!
      Anne Zink and her juvenile public service announcements have to go. Every time I hear one I cringe.
      As for the governor, nice speech, but what are you going to do about it? Bringing outside health care providers only encourages Providence to continue to brow-beat staff. How about going after those who refuse to fill prescriptions that are fully FDA approved drugs. Get rid of the commission that approves hospital beds and let the market build clinics and free standing ERs where the people are instead of only in centralized areas.

  5. I’m sorry, but that’s not good enough. When my husband and coworkers contacted his office, the answer they got was “If you don’t like it, quit.” The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is law. The 4th and 10th amendments are part of that constitution he claims to protect. He could at least stand up against companies breaking the law!

  6. Wow, it looks like Governor Groundhog has actually decided to emerge from his underground burrow! I guess he came out to check the weather and to see if we are going to have six more years of Covidian winter, or not.

    • Thank you Governor for finally speaking up on these mandates. I was becoming concerned you would not offer help. Now if the lawsuit and your speech here can change the minds of some companies(Slope) before the damage is done, I would be quite happy. My husband’s job is
      Important to him, he has had Covid and does not want the jab for many reasons(religious being at the top). But sadly he has told me he would consider taking the jab in order to keep his job and provide for his family. I would rather he not. How divisive this has all become when families who are seeking to live and work peacefully may be torn apart in numerous ways.

  7. I agree with your principles and the separation of powers, Mike. But, there is something you CAN do: The Early Home Ambulatory Treatment is being suppressed by the medical community at large. This treatment is proven to save lives. Delta Plus is coming. At this rate what WILL happen is a case of The Dallas Buyers Club where Black Market non-institutional drugs will enter this state or people will become prey to 300% markup on counterfeit sellers from India and Mexico. The state needs to a) Provide resources and support for the physicians and clinics that are willing to take these cases and treat early. That’s money, staffing, printable informationals on Early Home Ambulatory Treatment. b) The state then needs to open clinics EVERYWHERE to relieve the pressure off the few who are doing this heroic work. The state also needs to get 130,000 Early Home Ambulatory Treatment kits for easy, free distribution and STAT, for starters. c) ‘Delta plus’ is coming. Each variant wave cycles at 8 months with approximately 16 weeks duration. [All of the medical profession KNEW Delta was coming, it was announced in Dec. 2020 and arrived in April of this year, and look at this mess.] A success for Early Home Ambulatory Treatment was provided by the presenters at the AKCovidAlliance symposium on Saturday 10/31/21: Uttar Pradesh, is a state in northern India. With 240 million inhabitants, it is the most populated state in India as well as the most populous country subdivision in the world. U.P. is 2/3 the size in population as the U.S. They have a vaccination rate of 25%. Their government HANDED OUT Early Treatment blister packs as a cost saving measure and a quick response method. Guess how many cases Uttar Pradesh had last week? 20 {Twenty}. Our Governor, our Mayors, our medical professionals need to step up, show courage and prevent the inevitable, foreseeable and tragic. In Alaska and the nation there are currently 2 parallel standards of care – one that is successful and one that is predatory.

    • Thank you for stating this! I went to the Summit and I wholeheartedly agree and support and petition our Governor to look at making this happen before another wave comes our way.

    • I am glad that the governor is making the right noises – it remains to be seen whether or not he “walks the walk” – but I heartily disagree with your proposal as to what the state should be doing, namely items a) and b). It is definitely NOT the state’s job to keep us healthy; it is the state’s job to keep us free to manage our own health (and all other aspects of our lives). More socialism is not going to get us out of the mess we’re in; that’s actually, to a significant degree, to blame for it.
      The state should make it possible for people to freely access both information and the materials needed for early treatment, and let the people decide for themselves. I believe what the presenters said about the virus, the shots, the disease and the early treatments. But there will be many opinions regarding the proper course of action and I, for one, do not EVER want the state dictating what I do or don’t do for my own health, and I don’t want my tax dollars paying for them to do that to anyone else. If you give the government the power to provide something for you, eventually you have to take what they give. When the government is in the business of providing healthcare, we get what we’re currently getting (greedy, power-hungry tyrants who give bureaucrats literal life-or-death power over us), only magnified the longer they hold that power.
      As to the implicit suggestion that the state is the only entity powerful enough to pay doctors and set up treatment centers, that’s only true to the extent that the state has hobbled private enterprise. There are many good medical people in this state who would gladly step up if they weren’t afraid for their livelihoods as a result of attacks by the government and government-sponsored media.

  8. It may be that Dunleavy is playing the long game. He does not seem to be reactionary to every news cycle that most of what we see in politics. Perhaps he has been hodling his cards for just the right moment.

    Let’s see how this all plays out.

  9. Mr. Governor, you are dead wrong on your claimed equivalence between government vaccine mandates and the government preventing businesses from mandating them. One is tyranny, the other is protecting the rights of your citizens. While numerous other States have moved to prevent their people from having this tyranny inflicted upon them, we have gotten nothing but hot air from you.

    The fact is that government intrudes on private decisions all the time; we wouldn’t need government if there was never a need to do so. Being opposed to the “principle” of government intruding on private decisions is absurd because that is literally all government does. If you aren’t comfortable with government intruding on “private business decisions,” perhaps you would also be uncomfortable with laws prohibiting employers from discriminating on the basis of race, sex, age or other individual qualities that are, in most cases, unrelated to one’s job performance. Perhaps you are also uncomfortable with the minimum wage, workplace safety laws and laws recognizing the right of employees to form unions.

    While I believe the argument could be made to return to the free-for-all economic state of the late industrial revolution, I don’t think you’re actually making that argument. The fact is that you are too gutless to take a stand on this important issue, and the REAL conservatives who elected you are seeing right through your words to your (in)actions.

  10. President Biden has not proposed a vaccine mandate.

    He has proposed that “all employers with 100 or more employees ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work.”

    If you test negative, you do not have to vaccinate.

    Does reality not matter to Gov. Dunleavy?

    • What a load of horse hucky. This is about big Pharma making gobs of money and paying off their buddies. Or maybe it is perhaps more sinister. But the so-called vaccines do not work. If you test people with natural immunity who have better immunity, you should have to weekly test the ones who got the so-called vaccine as well. It is pure crap. It is just teaching us to kneel and be compliant. No one should have to be forced to get some dangerous so-called vaccine that does not work so they could keep a job and put food on their family’s table.

    • Oh God, now we have the reprehensible ADN troll “Dan Svatass” (Dan’s Fatass) here!
      What’s the matter, Dan, has the rigidly censored, radical leftist extremist echo chamber that is the ADN online comments section become too dull and uninteresting even for you?

    • Dan,
      President Biden has issued the following executive orders:
      EO 14043 Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees. And EO 14042 Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors.
      They deal with mandating vaccines for federal employees and contractors, respectively.
      The 100 employee deal isn’t an executive order but an OSHA work around that hasn’t actually been written or mandated yet. I haven’t seen anything proposed with the words you put in quotes.

      • Don’t worry, Mr. Governor, Steve-o is just a leftist troll and a Faucciite. Ignore him. We all do (or should, in my case – if I were smarter).

        • That’s funny, keep working at getting smarter Matt! Maybe one day you will figure out what a leftist is, maybe another day you will figure out what a troll is, and then maybe just maybe you will figure out whatever a Faucciite is.
          Best of luck friend, let me know if you want help, the need is there, but I’m not so sure about the want just yet.

  11. Why not actually do something meaningful instead of posturing. Get your LT Governor to get off his butt and fix the corrupt elections. Audit the voter roles and use your bully pulpit to bring integrity to our elections, otherwise you look like you are playing to the crowd instead of leading it, and we can all clearly see that.

  12. To the Dunleavy intern paid to read the responses, kindly tell him a registered voter said this: Pull a DeSantis and decree an anti-mandate mandate. Cut Anchorage off of the state oil teet and tell the whole city to pull it together… cough cucks are destroying this state and everyone is letting them get away with it on the state level. Dunleavy, until you decree an end to this insanity and stop pretending you don’t have the power to I’ll consider you a giant retarded midget and support an anti-cuck candidate who will get it done.

    T. Voter

  13. Lovely words, but why have they taken so long? I have so many friends who retired early , so many military members who have sought my guidance, people who have caved to protect their livelihood , others who have stood their ground and wait for their pink- slip, and now finally the Governor has made a stand. He didn’t answer his communications for a long time , and has been incognito for so long, now this. I only hope that he means business. Better late than never, I guess. Now, what about the tyrants who are going against the city charter in the States largest city? Any guidance from the Governor on how we should deal with them? We are, after all law abiding citizens, not like the citizens who founded this great state. We all know how they would have handled a bunch of power hungry communists. Words?

    • Walker is a vile thief. But a false dichotomy does not help. I will support the candidate in the first election that is most likely to support jobs and individual liberty of Alaskans. In the second election, I would support Big Mike against whatever is worse, but that’s not a ringing endorsement. It is just support for the lesser of two evils.

  14. Coward. Feckless, spineless coward. Stand up for the citizens rights which are being trampled by having to choose between feeding our families, or taking an experimental gene therapy meant to destroy. People aren’t coerced? – what kind of feeble minded twit believes that? People all over this state are being coerced with threats of poverty. This gene therapy is NOT effective in preventing a person from contracting or passing it along. By definition – not a vaccine. Podium preacher who dares say he stands with the constitution while empowering the left to enforce their will on free citizens. You disgust me.

  15. Governor – Your version of vaccine science seems to be gradually crumbling. I sure hope you and Anne Zink attended the Medical Freedom Summit in Anchorage last Saturday and learned about the many lies around the vaccines. It would be refreshing to see our elected representatives know as much about this subject as much of the public does, or do they and they are just going along or worse? Those that aren’t vaccinated at least know there is something wrong about this whole debacle, with the majority of them knowing that the vaccines are not what the are claimed to be.

    Maybe Big Pharma can escape liability after receiving their corrupt approvals but the Politicians & officials who push the shots but with more evidence of their dangers and failures coming out daily, they will likely face an angry public when enough realize how they are being lied to.
    You are in a tough spot Gov. Dunleavy and history will judge you for how you stand up for Alaskans

  16. Governor Mike, thank you for respecting the limits on your office and explaining your reasoning. Communicating with all of Alaska is important – the thinking among us appreciate your work and principles. To the snipers among these common’tatoes who can never be pleased – get off your butts and get involved – help instead of sniping. I oppose tyranny, period – even if the source agrees with my political ideals, tyranny is just wrong and anti-American. At least some of them reluctantly applauded while spitting venom out of the other side of their mouths. A good civics course needs to be part of general education.

    • Your virtue signaling aside, GMD could and should do so much more to protect jobs, livelihoods, and individual liberties like strong governors from other states. He hasn’t.

  17. These are the words of a statesman in the image of the founders of our country. I am proud to say I voted for this man and I will proudly vote for him again. The principles of our country and our state are being challenged from all sides and this is the kind of resolute and knowledgeable understanding of these issues we need in times like these.

  18. Weakness disguised as strength. It may work in Juneau, but this limp twisted effort won’t pass in the real world.

  19. My great disappointment is that I voted for this governor
    All this dribble while unnecessary deaths occur at our hospitals
    This governor is bragging about doing such a great job at controlling the c19 outbreaks.!?
    How many patients has he treated? Better yet how many patients has his mini fauci Ann zinc treated?!?
    Dr. Ilona Farr has treated upwards of a thousand with drugs like hcq and ivermectin successfully. Maybe she deserves the credit for our “low” numbers, not the governor’s staff who demonize any treatments other than the shot and pontificates about their “ successes “ as our friends and family members die in hospitals all over the state refused meds they requested!
    Let’s hear it again governor, you did a good job at what???

  20. A very well reasoned position qualifying Governor Dunleavy for another term as Governor. I believe the legislature has the power and responsibility to investigate anything it creates like corporations. It is a privilege to do business in Alaska not a right (of a fictitious person) of a corporation. If we give them permission (business license) to do a lucrative business we should not give them also a blank check to enslave the people by dislocating them from a right of freedom of practice of conscience or force them to make a choice about about owning their family investments in Alaska while Alaska is lead by lefties turning resolutely from constituents’ US Constitutional rights as we see happening in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau.

  21. “my administration has also brought 457 health care workers to Alaska to aid our providers.”
    These outside people replaced Alaska residents, many of whom were Natives, who were fired for exercising their rights to protect their religious beliefs or due diligence in informed consent on the use of medical treatments they know are not proven safe.
    The Governor brags about this shameful and illegal practice of employers mandating employees must comply or be fired.
    Our Native health care has always been third world standard resulting in early or unnecessary deaths of many patients due to incompetent administrators and corrupt management practices.
    We always encouraged young people to obtain education in professional fields. For many of these after studying and working in the essential medical field, it’s criminal to see the best and brightest of these employees terminated.
    And Dunleavy calls himself a conservative Republican. Who needs Democrats when these are the results of governance with Republicans? We need a conservative alternative.

    • Thank you… good point…. Dunleavy has been at best putting a band-aide on an already existing wound… that he could have protected our state from had he actually acted…. at worst he is just helping the tyranny with this hiring of out of state “vaccinated” workers…… how does that equal taking a “stand” against the mandates…. it doesn’t.

  22. This article by the “guest contributor” is nothing more than a free campaign advertisement. Governor, you have done everything you can to alienate those who voted for you. Every time a member of a special interest group has said anything to you, you folded like the stinking sack of sewage that you are. Like our legislators, you do not serve the people of Alaska. There is more truth in all the comments than in Dunleavy’s letter.
    This politician once again proves that Alaska’s last hope is a constitutional convention.
    Many of the commenters, especially AK Pilot, have stated the truth more eloquently than I could,so I will limit my last comment to my area of expertise. I have been board certified as a specialist in immunology for 20 years, and it is my opinion that the governor, our legislators, Anne Zink, and others like them, are personally responsible for the death, despair, and destitution of many Alaskans. May God have mercy on your soul.

  23. The FIRST responsibility of government is to protect the people’s rights and liberties – NOT to allow businesses to run roughshod over peoples rights to work and earn a living for their families.
    Finally spoke up – and you get it half wrong – again.
    Standing tall – and kinda sorta doing something – but not really,

  24. Dear Susanne
    Did you not learn a few facts about COVID this last weekend, and how to mitigate it?
    Are you confident in governor Dunleavys decision to focus entirely on the vaccine and only allow ivermectin for his mules after what you learned?
    Your a good writer/journalist and an asset to this state. Surely there was very credible information presented by these experts that would move you to at least privately communicate to the governor that he’s standing on very tenuous ground.
    I don’t know how you can cover what is going on in our hospitals while knowing many of these deaths are unnecessary.
    For both you and the governor
    Listen to your conscience

    • I am guessing that she is mostly trying to stick to the journalism part without tainting it with the activism part. Good journalism like hers should arm and stir the people to demand the right changes.

  25. Well, you had me cheering you on, right up until “I don’t believe that government should keep private businesses from requiring a vaccination if they think that it is best for their employees and customers.” You see, the slippery slope here isn’t blocking vaccine requirements, it’s allowing the requirements for something that’s NOT a vaccine. For something that’s entirely new gene therapy. For something that’s under Emergency Use Authorization. For something that the manufacturers have complete protection from liability. For something that has no long-term efficacy or safety record. For something that’s not necessary especially as employers aren’t giving people a fair shake on natural immunity, medical or religious exemptions. There’s too much government propaganda on these shots. There’s too much censorship of the 1st Amendment on this issue through the Main Stream Media as well as Social Media. Doctors are being cancelled for speaking up against these shots. Data is being suppressed when it doesn’t match the government line. Why allow these shots to be mandated? It’s a terrible precedent that you, Governor Dunleavy are allowing. Stop the requirements if under EUA before more Alaskans get hurt or killed by the shots or lose their livelihood and retirements over this insanity.

Comments are closed.