by Congresswoman Claudia Tenney
As your representative in Congress, fidelity to the Constitution is my top priority. I believe in the freedoms fundamental to our great Nation and I will always strive to preserve and protect them. As a member of the New York State Assembly, I strongly opposed mandatory vaccinations, and now in Congress, I oppose the President, Congress, or any other government entity mandating COVID-19 vaccinations.
I received a COVID-19 vaccine and encourage anyone who chooses to receive theirs to do so. Former-President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed was a model public-private program that developed life-saving vaccines in record time. If you have questions about the vaccine, please talk to your doctor. I also continue to push for expanded early access to vital therapeutics, like monoclonal antibody treatments, and support other precautionary measures that prioritize your wellbeing.
However, none of this changes the fact that in a free country with free citizens, COVID vaccination efforts must remain voluntary and one’s vaccination status should never impact their employment. I wholeheartedly respect that this is an individual decision we each must make.
New York’s vaccine mandate is unacceptable. Many great New Yorkers protected our state as frontline workers through the darkest days of this pandemic when no vaccine was available. Now, rather than respecting their personal medical decisions, Governor Hochul is denying them their rights. I have heard from hundreds of qualified healthcare workers in our community who have been, or risk being terminated from their places of employment for not complying with this mandate. The edict is cruel and ill-advised and is leading to a shortage of critical workers in our state’s hospitals and healthcare facilities.
This week, I am introducing the Health Freedom for All Act to prevent the Biden Administration from enacting its planned vaccine mandate on employers. My bill clarifies that under existing law, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not have the authority to require COVID-19 vaccinations or testing. Congress makes the laws, not our president or the sprawling, unaccountable federal bureaucracy. The Biden Administration is trying to do through government coercion what it is failing to do through persuasion. It is another attempt by President Biden to blatantly circumvent the law, similar to his unconstitutional Center for Disease Control (CDC) eviction moratorium.
Additionally, I support the Keep Vaccines Voluntary Act in Congress. This bill would prohibit any recipients of federal COVID-19 relief funds from discriminating against individuals who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19. This bill would apply to the state of New York, which received billions in federal funds.
Politicians continue to use whatever means possible to justify lockdowns, mandates, and other draconian measures. But the truth is clear, unscientific edicts that target working Americans are simply cynical power grabs that create a two-tier class system. That is the last thing our government should be doing. I will continue to support commonsense measures to beat this virus, strengthen our communities, and reopen our economy. But I oppose COVID-19 vaccine mandates, vaccine passports, and any other violation of our personal liberties.
Congresswoman Claudia Tenney represents New York’s 22nd Congressional District in Congress as a member of the House Foreign Affairs and Small Business Committees. You can stay up to date with her work on Facebook and Twitter or by signing up to receive her weekly newsletter.