Pelosi says 3/4 of House members have received COVID-19 vaccine
Approximately 75% of the House of Representatives have been vaccinated against COVID-19, House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Told reporters Thursday as she defended the health precautions taken during President Joe Biden's address before the Congress were taken.
Only 200 people were allowed into the Chamber of the House Wednesday night, eight times fewer than the 1,600 who normally attend a President's speech to Congress. All members were masked, socially distant, and either fully vaccinated or tested for COVID-19.
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"For all of the requirements we had last night, it was largely not about security ... it was about COVID," Pelosi said.
Republicans criticized the protocols as excessive as most lawmakers are vaccinated. Some medical experts said Biden and Congress missed the opportunity to demonstrate the effectiveness and importance of vaccines by not filling the chamber full with fully vaccinated people.
"Science shows that this could have been done. It would have sent a clear message that vaccines are safe, effective and the key to ending the pandemic," said Dr. Leana Wen, a professor at George Washington University and former Baltimore City health commissioner. wrote in the Washington Post. "The American people have received another message that may hinder the nation's vaccination progress at a time when we can least afford it."
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Pelosi's number for the number of lawmakers vaccinated is identical to the number referenced by Kevin McCarthy, chairman of the minority House of Representatives, in early March - suggesting few, if any, members have been vaccinated in the past month.
"We cannot require vaccinations for members of Congress, let alone for the American people," Pelosi said Thursday. "The (family) doctor can't tell us Democrats, Republicans or whoever - and that's right, we should respect people's privacy."
PHOTO: President Joe Biden speaks prior to a joint congressional session at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC on April 28, 2021. (Chip Somodevilla / Pool via Reuters)
But she said she encouraged members of Congress to get vaccinated as some asked them to end the proxy voting, remote hearing and staggered voting that the House has been using since the coronavirus pandemic began last year.
"Republicans come up to me and say, 'Let's cut the voting time.' I say, "Tell your friends to get vaccinated. That will help, "she said on Thursday.
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More than half of Americans - 142 million - have received at least one dose of vaccine, and nearly 100 million are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In many communities, demand has plummeted as vaccine supplies have increased, which worries some experts who predict the United States may have difficulty convincing vaccine-reluctant Americans to get vaccinated.
Pelosi said 3/4 of the members of the house received the COVID-19 vaccine, which was originally posted on abcnews.go.com
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