There has been a wave of backlash and threats of lawsuits after President Joe Biden announced new COVID vaccine requirements. Among the new guidelines, vaccines are required for federal workers, healthcare workers, and businesses with more than 100 employees.

On Sunday, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy insisted the new measures are legal. Appearing on the ABC News program “This Week,” Murthy claimed the requirements were necessary to protect Americans against COVID-19. 

“We have to put this in context. There are requirements that we put in workplaces and in schools every day to make sure that workplaces and schools are safe,” Murthy said.

Murthy believes those who legally challenge the new policy won’t be successful since there is a history of similar measures improving vaccination rates.

“Certainly this wouldn’t have been put forward if the president and the administration didn’t believe that it was an appropriate legal measure to take,” he said.

Biden has previously stated that the 25% of Americans who have not been vaccinated are responsible for overwhelming hospitals and endangering others.

Murthy revealed the new policy was necessary amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases fueled by the Delta variant.

“Over the last several months we’ve been working hard to get vaccines out to the public, partnering with the private sector, using every power the government has. Now in the face of Delta, we’ve got to move to the next phase of that response,” he said.

While Murthy doesn’t believe the vaccine mandate is illegal, Biden may face a slew of legal challenges from Republicans. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp revealed that he and other Republican governors are planning to push back against the vaccine mandate. 

“We’re looking at all legal options right now,” Kemp said. “But it’s not just us. There’s a lot of other governors around the country and attorneys general around the country that are strategizing right now on how we can push back on this.”

Meanwhile, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced on Friday that he would sue the Biden administration for “an egregious, tyrannical power grab” and the “most unconstitutional, illegal thing” done by a modern presidential administration.

Vivek Murthy Vivek Murthy delivers remarks at a Clean Power Plan event at the White House in Washington, D.C, Aug. 3, 2015. Photo: Getty Images/Jim Watson