While 75% of House members have been vaccinated, Speaker Nancy Pelosi says that the House won’t return to normal until more members get vaccinated.
Several Republicans have spoken out against the COVID-19 vaccine. Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky says that he’s not getting the vaccine because he tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies last year.
“The Pfizer and Moderna trials showed no benefit from the vaccine for those previously infected, so I will not be taking the vaccine,” Representative Massie said.
Leana Wen, a public health professor at George Washington University, says the President should have encouraged lawmakers to get vaccinated during his address to Congress.
“I think that would have bee another way of demonstrating confidence in the vaccines, as well as a path forward.”
Wen says that vaccinated Congressional leaders should demonstrate how life is after being vaccinated.
“I actually think that it undermines the efficacy of the vaccines if people aren’t more proactive about resuming their lives in a very public way,” Wen said.
The new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines say that vaccinated individuals can gather indoors and outdoors with fully vaccinated people without a mask.
“We cannot require someone to be vaccinated. That’s just not what we can do. It is a matter of privacy to know who is or who isn’t. I can’t go to the Capitol Physician and say ‘Give me the names of people who aren’t vaccinated so I can go encourage them or make it known to others to encourage them to be vaccinated,” Pelosi said.