Government Should Provide Best Info on Prevention and Treatment, Not Mandates: Former Senator

By Masooma Haq
Masooma Haq
Masooma Haq
Masooma Haq began reporting for The Epoch Times from Pakistan in 2008. She currently covers a variety of topics including U.S. government, culture, and entertainment.
and Steve Lance
Steve Lance
Steve Lance
Steve Lance is the host of Capitol Report, a political news show based in Washington aimed at providing a direct channel to the voices and people who shape policy in America. Capitol Report features all of the political news of the day with expert interviews and analysis.
January 31, 2022Updated: January 31, 2022

Former South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint weighed in on pandemic-related government mandates, saying citizens should be allowed to make an informed decision as to whether they want to be vaccinated, instead of being subject to mandates from the federal government.

“I think what we should do as a nation, (doctors, politicians, media) is give people the best information we have. Let doctors express different opinions, and let people make informed decisions about it,” DeMint told “Capitol Report” host Steve Lance in a Jan. 29 interview.

DeMint’s comments come after the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced on Jan. 25 that it will formally withdraw its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private businesses with 100 or more employees, which President Joe Biden initiated via executive order.

The agency issued an announcement in the Federal Register that it will withdraw its rule, known as an emergency temporary standard, after the Supreme Court on Jan. 13 issued a 6–3 opinion blocking it, saying that challengers to the order, including large trucking companies, were likely to prevail in court.

The rule would have required companies to make employees either get a COVID-19 vaccine or submit to weekly COVID-19 testing while wearing masks in the workplace.

DeMint said that while he is vaccinated, he does not believe the federal government has the authority under the U.S. Constitution to order people to take the vaccine. In addition, he said a mandate is not a law.

“If Congress actually passes a law that requires something and the president signs it, then it’s in what we call statute, it’s something that carries a whole lot more weight. And the Supreme Court would have to strike that down as being unconstitutional,” said DeMint. “But it goes to the bigger point of whether or not they’re even justifiable at this point.”

“I don’t think we have the evidence to suggest that we know enough to say that you have to take a vaccine, or that you have to wear a mask or businesses have to close down. I think countries like Israel, almost everyone was vaccinated there and they have one of the highest rates of infection.”

Israel, with nearly half of its citizens having received three shots, is leading the world in new daily cases per capita, according to Jan. 20 data.

Eran Segal, a biologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science, verified the data, explaining that after comparing the numbers of each country’s seven-day running average, Israel is at the top, The Times of Israel reported.

Total active cases in the country rose to 393,786, of whom 533, or 0.14 percent, are currently hospitalized in critical condition, according to a Jan. 19 statement posted by the country’s health ministry.

“We’re seeing that there’s no correlation with lockdowns and fewer infections, all the mandates. Vaccines, actually, if you look at evidence worldwide, some that suggest that it might make you more vulnerable to get a disease, but then it would make the symptoms less serious,” said DeMint.

Jack Phillips and Lorenz Duchamps contributed to this report