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Only half of Republican lawmakers in Congress say they’ve been vaccinated

Marjorie Taylor Greene posts maskless selfie to ‘end the oppression’ and #FreeYourFace

Justin Vallejo
New York
Tuesday 18 May 2021 23:49 BST
Marjorie Taylor Green proudly posted maskless selfies to “end the oppression”
Marjorie Taylor Green proudly posted maskless selfies to “end the oppression” (Twitter / Marjorie Taylor Greene)
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Only half of House Republicans will confirm they’ve taken the Covid vaccine despite lawmakers begin returning to Congress without masks.

As Marjorie Taylor Greene proudly posted maskless selfies to "end the oppression", only 95 of her colleagues have said they’ve been vaccinated, according to a running tally being kept by CNN.

That leaves 116 Republicans that haven’t taken the jab or won’t publicly disclose that they did. All 219 Democrat members toll CNN they have taken the vaccine.

It comes as the Office of the Attending Physician sent a memo on Monday reminding members masks are still required as vaccine rates refuse to budge.

"Extra precautions are necessary given the substantial number of partially vaccinated, unvaccinated, and vaccine-indeterminate individuals," the letter read, according to CNN.

"These measures allow for all participants to be treated in the same fashion without displaying any unique identification feature that would separate individuals based on their vaccination or health status."

The numbers closely reflect previous estimates that about 75 per cent of members have received the vaccination, a figure that has remained consistent since at least early March when Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy called for an end proxy voting and resume full-time, in-person committee hearings.

Axios first reported on 14 March that the Capitol physician couldn’t make recommendations on "the modification or relaxation of existing social distancing guidelines" until it is clear on the total numbers.

It has led to a delay in Congressional voting as members need to enter the Chamber in socially distanced waves to vote on legislation.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blamed unvaccinated Republicans for the continued delays in a return to normal scheduling.

After Joe Biden’s sparsely populated address to the joint session of Congress, Ms Pelosi was asked why the president wore a mask, and the Chamber was socially distanced, when public health officials are encouraging vaccinations to ease those pandemic restrictions.

She said the numbers were at the direction of the US Capitol’s Office of Attending Physician because "about 75 per cent" of members have received the vaccination. As a result, she said proxy voting could not end until that number increased, "but we can’t require vaccinations for the members much less for the American people".

"Here’s the thing, we cannot require someone to be vaccinated. That’s just not what we can do. It is a matter of privacy to know who is or isn’t," Ms Pelosi told reporters.

"Republicans come up to me and say, let’s shorten the time for votes, let’s shorten the time for votes, I said well, tell your friends to get vaccinated, that would help."

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