(The Center Square) – Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry posted links to exemption forms for students facing COVID-19 vaccine mandates at 10 different state universities.
Landry is an outspoken opponent of COVID-19 mandates. He confronted the state university system before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s full approval of the Pfizer vaccine and has clashed publicly with Gov. John Bel Edwards over an executive order requiring masks for K-12 school children.
Links to the vaccine opt-out forms were posted on the attorney general’s official website after reports of Louisiana State University dropping students who failed to meet its vaccine compliance deadline. Nearly 80 noncompliant students were unenrolled, an LSU spokesperson said.
“The start of a school year comes with new classes, friends, and football games to occupy many college students’ schedules. However, this year, it is especially important for students to stay current on their school’s vaccine policies,” Landry wrote on social media.
A subsequent tweet sent users to the attorney general's website, which has links to LSU’s exemption form and others, including Grambling State University, Louisiana Tech University, Nicholls State University, Northwestern State University, Southeastern State University, University of Louisiana-Lafayette, University of Louisiana-Monroe and the University of New Orleans.
Landry challenged LSU’s attempt to implement a vaccine requirement earlier this year. The university is the state’s largest higher education institution with about 33,000 students.
LSU President William Tate IV touted the school’s vaccine mandate and COVID-19 protocols on Fox Business before Landry’s weekend exemption offering. Tate said 82% of the university’s students had submitted proof of vaccination by Friday and 72% of faculty and staff also were vaccinated per university rules.
“A lot of students didn’t like the testing program. They wanted to live their lives the way they do,” Tate said in the interview with “Coast to Coast” anchor Neil Cavuto. “Clearly there will be some who will not be vaccinated, but they will be tested.”
LSU’s COVID-19 policy requires exempted students to adhere to random testing on a monthly basis.
“Each week, 25 percent of all unvaccinated students will be tested using a stratified approach to ensure each week’s sample is generalizable to the student population based on living arrangement (i.e., on-campus or off-campus) and other factors,” the school’s COVID-19 protocols said.
Students, faculty and staff are also required to participate in the university’s “Daily Symptom Checker,” a digital monitoring system that records self-reported symptoms and sends text messages and emails regarding students with positive test results.
The monitoring system provides a QR code for healthy students to enter high traffic areas on campus.
Tate attended a vaccine mandate discussion Thursday with President Joe Biden and corporate business leaders at the White House. He was the only academic representative in attendance.
The same day, Landry threatened a lawsuit challenging Biden’s proposed employer vaccine mandate, which would involve similar vaccine and testing requirements as LSU and other state public universities.