CINCINNATI — A congressman from Cincinnati has introduced legislation to block vaccine mandates for federal employees and contractors.
Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) said the "Stop Vaccine Mandates Act" will "respect" people's decisions to not get vaccinated "without jeopardizing their livelihoods or our economy."
"Whether or not to receive a vaccine is a decision that should be solely up to a patient and their trusted doctor, and the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate violates the doctor-patient relationship," Wenstrup said.
Biden's mandate requires federal employees and contractors to have their final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Jan. 4, 2022 with exceptions only as required by law.
A practicing podiatrist before representing Ohio's 2nd congressional district, Wenstrup is vaccinated and has administered COVID-19 vaccines at clinics in the district during the pandemic. Still, he and other members of the GOP Doctors Caucus wrote to Biden in October urging him to reverse the mandate.
"Vaccine mandates imposed by the Federal government erode public trust in the vaccines, thereby undermining your stated goal of vaccinating more Americans," the letter said. "Accordingly, we feel strongly that your Administration should promote multiple pathways to safety and immunity that include vaccination, proof of natural immunity, and routine testing."
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration's new emergency temporary standard will allow businesses employing 100 or more people the opportunity to have employees submit to weekly testing, however the alternative is not part of the mandate for federal employees and contractors.
The "Stop Vaccines Mandates Act" is cosponsored by Rep. Troy Balderson (R-Ohio), Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind) and several others.