Tags: Coronavirus | Vaccines | lawmakers | vaccine | healthcare workers | seniors | brian mast

Growing Number of Lawmakers Refusing COVID-19 Vaccine

tulsi gabbard in a white zip up jacket with a us flag patch holding a mic
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii (Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 22 December 2020 07:51 AM

Lawmakers from both parties are starting to turn down early access to the COVID-19 vaccine, saying they're refusing to get the first of two shots until all frontline healthcare workers and senior citizens are vaccinated. 

"I’m not saying that I have any type of aversion to it. It’s just a personal stance that if you’re a leader, you eat last," Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., told The Hill. "Symbols matter in life. The powerful symbol can be, 'Hey listen, we're going to make sure that we take care of the people first.'"

Mast is joining a small but growing number of lawmakers, including Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, and Jeff Van Drew, R-N.J., as well as Rep.-elect Nancy Mace, R-S.C., and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., in announcing they're refusing a vaccine being offered under continuity of government practices. 

Several other lawmakers have gotten or will get their first of the two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and are encouraging others to also get their shots, but other officials are concerned about how it looks for them to get shots before they're made widely available to the public. 

Last week, the Capitol physician’s office received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for lawmakers. Doses have gone or are going to officials in the executive branch and Supreme Court. Vice President Mike Pence and President-elect Joe Biden have already been vaccinated publicly. 

One of the two lawmakers in the presidential line of succession, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has been vaccinated. Sen. Chuck Grassley, the president pro tempore, says he plans to get it. 

The other top congressional leaders, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, also got their first doses and shared the experience on social media. 

Several rank-and-file members have also gotten their shots, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who then tweeted about it to her almost 11 million followers on Twitter. 

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Lawmakers from both parties are starting to turn down early access to the COVID-19 vaccine, saying they're refusing to get the first of two shots until all frontline healthcare workers and senior citizens are vaccinated. "I'm not saying that I have any type of aversion to...
lawmakers, vaccine, healthcare workers, seniors, brian mast, tulsi gabbard, ilhan omar
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2020-51-22
Tuesday, 22 December 2020 07:51 AM
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