Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) on Tuesday evening celebrated the Republican victory of working to remove the vaccine mandate imposed by the Biden administration upon U.S. military members but said it should not end there, calling to end “all COVID vax mandates,” including those imposed on healthcare workers.
“The military COVID vaccine mandate will end! Page 407 & 408 of NDAA text just released.” Massie said, celebrating the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) rescinding the vaccine mandate on the U.S. military.
The text of the NDAA reads in part:
No later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall rescind the mandate the members of the Armed Forces be vaccinated against COVID-19 pursuant to the memorandum dated August 24, 2021, regarding “Mandatory Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination of Department of Defense Service Members.”
However, it should not end there, Massie said, contending that vaccine mandates should also end for healthcare workers and foreign visitors.
“Next steps: end all COVID vax mandates (healthcare workers and foreign visitors), and reinstate all members of military wrongfully terminated due to vax,” he added:
The military COVID vaccine mandate will end!
Page 407 & 408 of NDAA text just released.
Next steps: end all COVID vax mandates (healthcare workers and foreign visitors), and reinstate all members of military wrongfully terminated due to vax.https://t.co/hRVftUh6yl pic.twitter.com/o8noBxngGe
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) December 7, 2022
Notably, GOP leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is also demanding the Biden administration step out of the way and rehire service members who were wrongfully kicked out for refusing the jab:
🚨 BREAKING 🚨 The COVID vax mandate on our military is ending.
Last week I told Biden directly: it’s time to end your COVID vaccine mandate on our military & rehire our service members. The end of the mandate is a victory for our military & for common sense.
My full statement: pic.twitter.com/NedBokdwWm
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) December 7, 2022
This particular vaccine mandate victory comes nearly one year after the Supreme Court dealt a blow to the Biden administration, nixing President Biden’s attempt to force millions of U.S. workers to get the jab via the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
“Permitting OSHA to regulate the hazards of daily life—simply because most Americans have jobs and face those same risks while on the clock—would significantly expand OSHA’s regulatory authority without clear congressional authorization,” the Court wrote at the time in the 6-3 decision.
However, the Court, in a 5-4 decision, upheld the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) mandate on healthcare providers, meaning some healthcare workers are still subjected to this rule:
The 5-4 liberal-led majority explained that “in order to receive Medicare and Medicaid funding, participating facilities must ensure that their staff—unless exempt for medical or religious reasons—are vaccinated against COVID–19.”
The court noted the smaller scope, however, elaborating that the “rule requires providers to offer medical and religious exemptions, and does not cover staff who telework full-time.”
Additionally, the U.S. still requires foreign visitors to provide “proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States from a foreign country,” per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“If you are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you will NOT be allowed to board a flight to the United States, unless you meet the criteria for an exception under the Proclamation and CDC’s Amended Order. A booster dose is not needed to meet this requirement,” the CDC’s guidance, last updated in July, reads.
Republicans have a lot on their plate moving forward, as McCarthy, who is slated to become the next Speaker of the House, has repeatedly promised that a GOP-led House will hold the Biden administration and Democrats accountable from “day one.”
“You deserve to know the origins of COVID. You deserve to know why the DOJ went after concerned parents. You deserve to know why we failed to keep American lives safe in Afghanistan,” McCarthy said on Wednesday. “On day one a Republican majority will begin holding this administration accountable.”