House Democrats have called on Capitol Attending Physician Dr. Brian Monahan to consider a vaccine requirement for all lawmakers and staffers or “at minimum, twice per week testing for those who are unable to verify positive vaccination status.”
In a draft letter obtained by Fox News Friday, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., urged Monahan to “make the common-sense decision” to enforce a vaccine or testing policy in order to priorize the safety of staff who are “immunocompromised” and vulnerable to the virus.
“We know that your recommendations regarding the health and safety of the U.S. Capitol are free from partisan calculations and grounded in science, which is why we ask you to follow the science and require vaccination,” Cleaver wrote. “The unfortunate politicization of COVID-19 and our life-saving vaccines have already caused our nation immeasurable loss and incalculable pain.”
Cleaver argued in his draft letter that the implementation of a vaccine requirement by a “nonpartisan” health official may even “contribute to the depoliticization” of the vaccine.
The Missouri congressmen said exemptions would be granted to those who have “religious beliefs or health conditions” that bar them from receiving the vaccine.
The push to instate a vaccine requirement will likely irk GOP lawmakers, given the pushback from House Republicans on the latest mask mandate instated by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi this week.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have urged everyone to get the vaccine, particularly as the highly contagious delta variant has forced cases to spike by more than 64 percent nationwide over the last seven days – bringing caseloads back on par with the numbers reported in mid-February.
President Biden encouraged states to offer $100 incentives to get more shots in arms during a Thursday press conference, and Vice President Kamala Harris has taken on reinstating vaccine trust in Black and Brown communities.
Top GOP lawmakers like Senators Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Mitt Romney of Utah, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky have repeatedly called for constituents to get vaccinated and combat coronavirus-related misinformation.
New mask mandates have arisen this week across the federal sector and in states like California.
The White House has warned more coronavirus-related restrictions could be a possibility if the virus is not brought under control.