Earlier this month, a subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives initiated an investigation into the COVID-19 vaccine mandates and associated policies put forth by the Biden administration in 2021 during the pandemic.
The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic aims to gain clarity on the decision to enforce COVID-19 shot mandates for federal workers and businesses with over 100 employees. This comes after President Joe Biden’s prior statement in 2020 that he wouldn’t make COVID shots compulsory.
The subcommittee’s written inquiries demand documentation supporting the contentious decision to require millions of American workers to take the experimental mRNA COVID-19 vaccine or risk job loss. The requested documents encompass internal communications, drafts of the mandates, data on implementation, exemptions requested, terminations resulting from non-compliance, and more. The subcommittee has set a deadline of August 15, 2023, for these requests, which were directed to the Office of Personnel Management, as well as the Departments of Defense, Labor, and Health and Human Services.
Chairman Brad Wenstrup of Ohio, leading the subcommittee, announced that the investigation would scrutinize the development and execution of federal COVID-19 vaccination mandates at various government departments. The subcommittee’s focus is to understand how these mandates were conceived and carried out to inform potential legislative actions in case of future pandemics.
The investigation follows the introduction of vaccine mandates that compelled tens of millions of workers to receive the first-ever mRNA COVID shots or face job loss. Pfizer/BioNTech’s Comirnaty mRNA COVID vaccine gained FDA approval, ending the federal public health emergency order that had been active since January 2020.
The expansive scope of the mandate, encompassing approximately 84 million American employees and superseding state laws, drew criticism from Congressman Wenstrup. He contended that the administration’s decision disregarded medical autonomy, patient-doctor relationships, and robust scientific evidence, pushing a novel vaccine onto Americans without sufficient support for their policies.
The vaccine mandate’s repercussions were evident, as job cuts in 2021 included refusal of the vaccine as a significant reason. A Job Cuts Report revealed that COVID vaccine refusal accounted for a substantial portion of job losses during that period.
In 2022, the “vaccine-or-test” mandate for businesses was eliminated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) following a Supreme Court decision deeming it beyond presidential authority. This mandate had been outlined in the Path Out of the Pandemic COVID-19 Action Plan released by the Biden administration in 2021.
A federal appeals court upheld the Supreme Court’s decision in 2022, affirming the ban on vaccine mandates for federal employees. The court’s ruling had implications for the U.S. military, as thousands of service members refused the vaccine, raising concerns about military readiness.
Congressman Wenstrup highlighted the enduring consequences of hasty and constitutionally questionable public health policies, particularly their impact on military readiness. He noted that while federal mandates have been revoked, their effects continue to affect Americans, emphasizing the subcommittee’s commitment to investigating any potential wrongdoing by government officials and providing answers to the public regarding COVID-19 vaccine mandates.