Reps. Norman and Comer Seek Answers from D.C. Mayor Bowser Concerning Vaccine Mandate
On Monday, Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC-5) and Ranking Member Rep. James Comer (R-KY-1) of the Committee on Oversight and Reform lead a letter to Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser concerning her mandate requiring proof of vaccination to enter various public buildings within the District of Columbia.
“We write to express our concern about the vaccine mandate you issued requiring proof of coronavirus vaccination for entry into most indoor premises in the District of Columbia,” wrote Reps. Norman and Comer, who said this mandate "will harm the District’s economic recovery and lock many Americans out of their capital city."
This order is specifically problematic for children visiting Washington, D.C. “School groups visiting D.C. will be prohibited from taking advantage of our nation’s treasures,” said Reps. Norman and Comer, urging Mayor Bowser to withdraw the order. “By requiring anyone over the age of twelve to present proof of vaccination to enter most indoor establishments in the District, students who are not vaccinated will be prohibited from eating at restaurants, meeting indoors for conferences, enjoying entertainment venues, and more. All Americans, especially our youth, should be welcomed to the District, but your sweeping mandate locks them out of their capital city.”
In addition to Rep. Norman and Rep. Comer, this letter was co-signed by 17 other Republicans on the House Oversight Committee.
On December 23, 2021 Mayor Bowser issued an order requiring proof of vaccination for persons over 12 years of age prior to entering public venues including nearly all restaurants, gyms, nightclubs, and entertainment venues. This mandate will be enforced on January 15, 2022 without regard to, or consideration of, a COVID-19 negative test result or for those who have developed natural immunity to the coronavirus, which numerous studies have shown is equally effective as the vaccine
Nearly half of the small businesses that were in operation on January 2020 were closed as of June 2021 and revenue was down 57 percent according to the D.C. Chamber of Commerce. Although Mayor Bowser has previously implemented lockdowns, vaccination mandates, and mask mandates in hopes of controlling the spread of COVID-19, Washington D.C. continues to experience rising cases, indicating mandates are ineffective at controlling the virus and harm businesses still in operation.