EXCLUSIVE: Eighteen Republican doctors and health care providers in Congress sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asking when the COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted from the chamber, now that most members have been vaccinated.
Reps. Michael Burgess of Texas, Andy Harris of Maryland and Brad Wenstrup of Ohio led the House GOP Doctors Caucus in sending the letter to Pelosi on Thursday.
“We all now realize that the current state of Congress is not working,” the group of lawmakers wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by Fox News. “The restrictions on [the] voting process, the phenomenon of widespread proxy voting, and remote hearings have all contributed to the current state of dysfunction.”
“Yet the state of dysfunction could change, and you have the authority to do that,” the doctors added.
While they were “grateful” that Pelosi “rightfully” made COVID-19 vaccines available to lawmakers and congressional staff members, the group pointed to March CDC guidance for vaccinated people and requested that Pelosi “resume normal voting intervals, resume in-person hearings, and allow for selected meetings in Congressional offices.”
“If a majority of Members are vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19, why are you still preventing normal operations?” the lawmakers asked. “As Members of Congress with medical backgrounds, we have worked vigorously to educate our constituents, and fellow Members in the House, that though the timeline of the COVID-19 vaccines was accelerated, the process was safe.”
The group pointed out that the “promise of a return to pre-pandemic normalcy was the goal” and declared that Congress “must set an example” since so many of the members have received their vaccines.
The doctors asked Pelosi “what else” she believed was “needed” to have the House return to regular business and pointed out that the House has “made every effort to return to normal at this point,” adding that they “remain concerned that we are still operating under amended House procedures based on outdated circumstances.”
“This era of higher hygiene pretense must end,” the physicians concluded. “Let us resume the people’s business, as we were all elected to do.”