Rep.-elect Nancy Mace, R-S.C., said Monday that "Congress shouldn't be putting themselves first in line for the COVID-19 vaccination" as many of her soon-to-be colleagues are being vaccinated following the examples of both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
"Congress shouldn't be putting themselves first in line for the COVID-19 vaccination when the average American can't get it," Mace said in a statement. "For as long as the vaccines are limited, we should prioritize healthcare and frontline workers, and every person at greater risk, especially the elderly. I've had COVID already, and can attest, it is a serious illness. I want to help make sure others don't get it, especially those who are most vulnerable."
"I'll wait my turn in line with the rest of my constituents when the vaccine becomes available to the rest of us," she continued.
Pelosi, 80, and McConnell, 78, received the first of two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on Friday afternoon. The vaccines were administered by Dr. Brian Patrick Monahan, the attending physician of the U.S. Congress, a day after the two top lawmakers announced they had been advised by Monahan that they were eligible for the vaccine.
Congresswoman-elect Nancy Mace (R.-S.C.) arrives at the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 13, 2020, in Washington, D.C. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
Like Mace, outgoing Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, spoke out against members of Congress receiving early vaccinations on Monday.
"Heartless, arrogant, unelected CDC bureaucrats have decided that the lives of elderly Americans just don’t count. For months the CDC has been telling us that the elderly are most vulnerable," Gabbard said in a video posted on Twitter. "They’re recommending 100 million so-called essential workers, which means healthy people working at everything from liquor stores to telephone companies, that they can get the vaccine before our grandparents can. That members of Congress like me, we can get the vaccine before at-risk seniors can."
"I had planned to get the vaccine but will now stand in solidarity with our seniors by not doing so until they can. I urge my colleagues in Congress who are under 65 and healthy to join me," she said.
Meanwhile, Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., announced on FOX Business he wouldn’t join his colleagues in getting the coronavirus vaccine.
"I will not be taking the vaccine. It is my choice. I’m an American. I have the freedom to decide if I’m going to take a vaccine or not," Buck said. "It obviously was rushed out. And I’m not saying that it was rushed out in a way that is medically unsound. But I don’t think we’ll know for several years whether it is, in fact, safe or not."
Fox News' Marisa Schultz, Chad Pergram and Vandana Rambaran contributed to this report.