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All Congressional Democrats Vaccinated Against COVID-19; GOP Members Lagging

nancy pelosi holds press conference
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., answers questions during her weekly press conference on May 13, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 14 May 2021 01:25 PM EDT

Every Congressional Democrat has been vaccinated against COVID-19, it was reported Friday.

Among Republicans, at least 44.8% of House members and at least 92% of senators have been vaccinated, according to CNN.

Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday that fully vaccinated people did not need to wear masks or practice social distancing indoors or outdoors except under special circumstances, the House mask requirement will remain in place until all members and floor staff are fully vaccinated.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was asked if the rule mandating masks unless a member is speaking on the House floor would be adjusted.

"No," Pelosi said. "Are they all vaccinated?"

Rep. Tom Massie, R-Ky., said he had not been vaccinated and had no plans to do so.

"The Pfizer and Moderna trials showed no benefit from the vaccine for those previously infected, so I will not be taking the vaccine," Massie said in a statement.

In a follow-up to a March survey, CNN confirmed that 312 of the 431 members of the House have now received a COVID-19 vaccine. All 219 House Democrats reported being vaccinated, and 95 (44.8%) of the 212 Republican members have said they are vaccinated.

CNN said 112 GOP House offices did not respond to multiple inquires.

Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., Kat Cammack, R-Fla., and Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., said they did not want to share the information.

"I'm not going to talk about it. I don't think anybody should have to share their personal, private medical information with anybody," Steube told CNN.

Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, R-Pa., told CNN, "I have the antibodies" when asked if he had been vaccinated.

It is not known how long antibodies last in a person who has recovered from coronavirus. Research suggests COVID-19 vaccines will provide better protection, especially when it comes to some of the variants.

The CDC has been advising people to get the vaccine even if they have had prior infections.

In the Senate, all 50 members of the Democrat caucus are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to interviews and a review of their public statements.

Of the 50 Republican members, 46 reported being vaccinated and two — Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., and Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind. — won't publicly disclose their vaccine status.

Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Rand Paul, R-Ky., — who both previously tested positive for COVID-19 — have said they will not get vaccinated.

Paul, an ophthalmologist, and Johnson argue the antibodies they have are protective against serious reinfection.

"I thought I was doing everyone a favor," Johnson told CNN in a phone call in March. "I don't think any of this is settled science, but the reason I am not vaccinated yet is I have had COVID and even when I had it, I had a mild case. ... Now I am being attacked as being anti-science. It boggles my mind."

Cramer and Braun both told CNN their vaccination status was a private medical decision.

Cramer said he decided not to share whether he got or will receive the shot "out of respect" for a lot of his constituents who value their privacy.

"What's really been emphasized back home is that for many, many North Dakotans ... the privacy is more important than the issue," Cramer said. "And really out of respect for them, I just feel like, you know, we don't divulge medical information.

"You should feel free to do it if you want to do it. You should not feel ashamed to not do it if you don't want to do it. This is a free country."

Braun said he thinks personal choice is more important, and cited reasons such as "allergies, personal or religious objections, or concerns over underlying health conditions" as why some people might choose not to get vaccinated.

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Every Congressional Democrat has been vaccinated against COVID-19, it was reported Friday. Among Republicans, at least 44.8% of House members and at least 92% of senators have been vaccinated...
covid, vaccine, democrat, republican, congress
Friday, 14 May 2021 01:25 PM
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