Ilhan Omar says she won't get the COVID-19 vaccine immediately because Congress members are 'not more important' than frontline workers

Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) speaks on February 12, 2020 on the "Path to Peace Policy" podium in the US Capitol in Washington, DC. Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images
Unlike many other members of Congress who line up to get the shot, Rep. Ilhan Omar stated on Sunday that she would not receive the COVID-19 vaccine right away with other members of Congress.
Omar argued that lawmakers were "no more important" than the people "who make sacrifices every day," quoting workers and teachers on the front lines.
"People who need it most should get it," Omar said in a tweet. "Point."
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Unlike many other members of Congress who line up to get the shot, Rep. Ilhan Omar stated on Sunday that she would not receive the COVID-19 vaccine right away with other members of Congress.
Omar argued in a tweet that it was "shameful" for lawmakers to bring the vaccine in front of people who she described as "making sacrifices every day," especially on the front lines.
"We're not more important," said Omar, adding, "That's why I'm not going to take it. People who need it most should get it. Period." The tweet did not state whether Omar intends to get vaccinated at a later date.
The Congressman from Minnesota's decision differs from that of her colleagues on Capitol Hill who have already received the first doses of the vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration this month approved two emergency vaccines developed by pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna that are given in two separate doses to be effective.
Millions of broadcasts have been rolled out across the country, with health workers and nursing home residents among the first to receive them, as well as politicians. The measures are an important step in fighting the pandemic, which has now killed more than 315,000 people in the United States.
Dr. Brian Monahan, the attending physician in Congress, last week encouraged lawmakers to receive the vaccine and has begun giving it to several members.
"My recommendation to you is absolutely clear: there is no reason why you should postpone receiving this vaccine," wrote Monahan in a letter to Congress on Thursday.
Omar's office did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
The arrival of a vaccine has sparked a wave of public skepticism and reluctance based on misinformation and conspiracy theories about the coronavirus. Many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have begun publicly posting and sharing photos of themselves in an effort to increase public confidence and quell uncertainty about the vaccine.
The long list of high profile members of Congress who have taken the vaccine includes Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio and Mitt Romney, as well as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
However, members like Omar have announced that they will not be taking the vaccine with others in Congress and have opposed lawmakers being the first to get the shot.
Sen. Rand Paul beat up Omar's "Squad" member Rep. Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez for the vaccine she posted pictures of on social media when she got it on Saturday.
"It is inappropriate for me - who has already got the virus / immunity - to step in front of the elderly / healthcare workers," Paul tweeted on Monday. "The same goes for AOC or any young healthy person. You should be among the last, not the first." (Although Paul tested positive for the virus in March, there isn't enough scientific evidence to tell if he has demonstrated long-term immunity to the disease.)
Other members of Congress have repeated the calls, criticizing their peers for allegedly "skipping" or "cutting" the line to get the vaccine.
"Congress must stop treating itself as a special political class, and the mere suggestion that members of Congress are in any way more important than the people who have given us the privilege to serve in Congress is appalling," said it Florida Rep Brian Mast said.
The vaccine debate comes because, after more than eight months of delay, lawmakers are delivering much-needed economic relief to millions of troubled Americans. The House and Senate are expected to vote Monday night on the $ 900 billion stimulus package, which includes direct payments worth $ 600.
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