As D.C. Prepares To Implement a Vaccine Mandate, Matt Gaetz Tries To Block It

The congressional Republicans have moved to stop the mandate from being implemented in Washington, D.C., just days before it is due to be implemented.

On Wednesday, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R–Fla.) On Wednesday, Rep. Matt Getz (R-Fla.), introduced a bill to nullify Muriel Bowser’s order that required people to present proof of vaccination before they could enter bars, restaurants, gyms and other indoor public spaces.

According to the order of the mayor, all people aged 12 and older must have at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot before they can visit these businesses. They will need to get the entire two doses by February 15.

It is hoped that by excluding the unvaccinated, they will be encouraged to have the vaccine.

According to the order, “vaccine requirements have led to more people who are vaccine hesitant to become vaccinated. This has resulted in them protecting themselves and those they come in contact with, as well as helping keep hospitals afloat.”

Bowser received a note from the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform, arguing that her mandate was not effective in stopping the spread of the Omicron variant and asking her to revise the order.

The letter states that the new left-wing vaccination passport fad won’t prevent the virus spreading, much like the 2020 Democrat lockdowns. However, this broad mandate will hurt the District’s economic recovery as well as lock out many Americans in their capital.

Gaetz’s bill, which would prevent economic harms from occurring, would repeal both Bowser’s order last month as well any other “substantially comparable” orders issued by the mayor.

D.C.’s Home Rule arrangement makes Congress the final legislative authority in the area. This means that Gaetz, along with his 19 Republican sponsors, has the ability to repeal such rules. Both chambers are dominated by Democrats, which almost guarantees that this won’t happen.

Gaetz’s bill can only prompt reflection by city officials on whether vaccine requirements are actually beneficial.

This vaccine mandate is like every COVID mandate emanating from D.C. city hall. It’s a maze of unexplained details and arbitrary exemptions.

Bowser prohibits unvaccinated people from dining in restaurants. You can order takeout, though. A church service does not require you to have a vaccination. To attend non-religious events in the same building, you will have to get vaccinated.

The details of the order have been kept secret by city officials. The text’s first version was silent as to whether the order applied to museums. Washington has many of these. John Falcicchio (Deputy Mayor) clarified this week that they aren’t covered.

Although Bowser’s order allows religious exemptions from its vaccine requirements technically, the mayor hasn’t provided much insight on how it would work in practice. Bowser told a press conference last Wednesday that “I don’t know exactly what [they] will be showing other than an attestation from themselves that it has a religious objection.” They pointed me to an FAQ which didn’t answer my question when I inquired about whether business had to comply with the city’s religious exemption.

The number of cases in D.C. has been declining rapidly. Experts in public health predict this new wave of cases will recede quickly across the East Coast over the coming week. It is not going to alter the trend by requiring that all people are allowed to have one meal in a restaurant, and that no more than two others can eat at a museum.

Gaetz’s bill has no chance of passing and is not worthy of support. It is appreciated that he continues to push back against D.C.’s vaccination requirements.