Most COVID-19 restrictions have long since lapsed in the US. But the Centers for Disease Control continues to require, with very narrow exceptions, that all international travelers coming to the US via air travel show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination in order to enter our country.
A group of House Republicans wants to consign this mandate to the dustbin.
Rep. Thomas Massie, a Kentucky Republican, just introduced legislation that would override the CDC requirement and prohibit a similar requirement from being reimplemented. His legislation is co-sponsored by Republican Reps. Mary Miller, Ralph Norman, Scott Perry, Bill Posey, Greg Steube, Brian Mast, and Michael Cloud.
“If you watched C-SPAN last week, you saw 434 Members of Congress gathered in the Capitol screaming, yelling, cheering, and speaking. Many of these members are unvaccinated, and many haven’t taken boosters,” Massie said. “So, why do we subject visitors who want to see their families to this COVID-19 double standard?”
“The CDC’s unscientific mandate is separating too many people from their families and has been doing so for far too long. It needs to end,” the congressman concluded.
I introduced HR 185 to end the COVID-19 vaccine mandate placed on international air travelers to the United States. Thank you to cosponsors @RepMaryMiller, @RepRalphNorman, @congbillposey, @RepGregSteube, @RepBrianMast and @RepCloudTX. https://t.co/ma1fypSDq7
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) January 12, 2023
This only seems like common sense. Right now, a negative COVID-19 test is not considered sufficient documentation to enter the US, but being vaccinated is. So, you can test negative and not have COVID but still be denied entrance to the US because they’re worried you might bring in COVID since you’re unvaccinated. How does that make any sense?
What’s more, it’s long been clear that while it still protects against serious illness and death, the COVID-19 vaccine does not stop infection or transmission. So why, exactly, does it matter whether travelers visiting the US are vaccinated or not?
There are many parts of the world where effective COVID-19 vaccines aren’t widely available. The current mandate punishes people from these regions, and those who simply chose not to be vaccinated for personal or medical reasons, for no apparent reason and with no apparent benefit to public health.
Here’s hoping Republicans can get this mandate off the books soon.