EXCLUSIVE: House Republicans Call For Healthcare Worker Vax Mandate Repeal

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Laurel Duggan Social Issues and Culture Reporter
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Republican South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan and Republican Florida Rep. Vern Buchanan urged the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to repeal the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers when the public health emergency expires in May.

The federal mandate requiring health care workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine has worsened the worker shortage in the medical field and runs counter to a recent Supreme Court precedent limiting the government’s power to compel individuals to receive the vaccine, Duncan and Buchanan argued in a Monday letter to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. The letter garnered signatures from 55 House Republicans.

“The pandemic is over, and has been for some time,” Buchanan told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Continuing to subject health care workers to unnecessary, pandemic-era big government overreach provides no benefit and will inevitably lead to adverse health outcomes for patients. The public health emergency expires in May, and with its expiration, President Biden should rescind this heavy-handed mandate and stop contributing to our nation’s already concerning health care worker shortage.”

While the public health emergency is scheduled to end May 11, the CMS vaccine mandate for health care workers will not expire until November 2024. (RELATED: COVID-19 Conspiracy Theorist Rebekah Jones’ Son Arrested For Allegedly Threatening School Shooting)

The Supreme Court previously blocked the Biden administration’s mandate that employers with 100 or more employees require the vaccine or implement routine testing for workers, and Biden’s executive order requiring federal contractors to be vaccinated was blocked by a federal appeals court in March.

Duncan also filed legislation in January that, if passed, will nullify the CMS vaccine mandate; it passed in the House of Representatives Jan. 31.

“We are continuing the fight to end the draconian COVID shot mandate imposed on our nation’s healthcare workers. The Freedom for Health Care Workers Act has passed the House with bipartisan support, Joe Biden has ended the COVID national emergency, and the public health emergency expires next month. The next step should be to recognize the medical freedom of health care workers and end the authoritarian COVID shot mandate imposed on them by CMS,” Duncan told the DCNF. “The healthcare sector continues to face workforce shortages, and our healthcare workers deserve better than being forced out of their jobs for choosing not to receive the COVID shot.”

The HHS and CMS did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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