GOP Doctors Caucus Members Warn Against Health Care Worker Vaccine Mandates

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Posted: Oct 27, 2021 2:45 PM
GOP Doctors Caucus Members Warn Against Health Care Worker Vaccine Mandates

Source: AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

On Wednesday, two members of the GOP Doctors Caucus appeared in an interview where they warned that Wuhan coronavirus vaccine mandates could worsen care for patients and that vaccine mandates should recognize natural immunity from a previous covid infection.

The two lawmakers in the Fox News segment, Rep. Diana Harshbarger (R-TN) and Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), spoke on this subject and how their co-sponsored bill, the “Natural Immunity is Real Act” is a key piece of legislation that could alleviate the labor shortages occurring in health care facilities as a result of vaccine mandates. As we’ve previously covered, health care workers across the nation have been dismissed from their jobs for not complying with vaccine mandates, and, in some cases, have pursued legal action to push back against them.

“All health care facilities want to keep their patients safe. The problem is, you can’t keep people safe if you don’t have workers there,” Meeks said in the segment. 

“There was a hospital in New York who fired members. There was also a hospital in New York that closed down its maternity ward because it didn’t have enough staff,” Meeks continued. “We’ve not even talking about immunity, we’re talking about vaccines. There are people in the medical profession who’ve had COVID-19, they’ve recovered from COVID-19, they know they have immunity. We should be talking about immunity, not just vaccines.”

As I reported last week, Meeks and Harshbarger’s bill states that federal agencies are to “truthfully present, and incorporate, the consideration of natural immunity as it pertains to COVID-19” and that nothing in the Act “shall be construed to allow for, or authorize, a Federal vaccination mandate.”

“All we’re asking is, ‘will you look at natural immunity as like you do the vaccine?’” Harshbarger said on the bill in the interview. “We can do antibody testing and there’s plenty of peer-reviewed studies that show that natural immunity is just as effective, if not more effective, than taking the vaccine.”

This week, both congresswomen signed a pair of letters to President Biden and the director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) warning that vaccine mandates for healthcare workers would worsen patient care and labor shortages. 

“We understand that vaccination is the prudent medical decision for most individuals. However, the decision to get vaccinated, as with all health care decisions, should be made by patients in consultation with their trusted physicians. Further, vaccine mandates imposed by the Federal government erode public trust in the vaccines, thereby undermining your stated goal of vaccinating more Americans,” the Members of Congress wrote in their letter to Biden. “[W]e ask that you exempt employees who can provide proof of natural immunity and to consider allowing unvaccinated individuals to continue their employment subject to routine COVID-19 testing.”

Watch the interview here:

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