The House of Representatives may not return to normal operations unless all members get a COVID-19 vaccine, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Friday, shooting down calls from Republicans to open because about three quarters of the representatives have gotten shots.
“One of the most substantial steps that can be taken is that everybody should be vaccinated. Right now, according to what I saw the Republican leader say and was quoted in the press, that 75 percent of the members are vaccinated. We need 100 percent of the members vaccinated, because it just takes one to endanger others,” Pelosi told reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington.
While the continued blockage of access to the Capitol relates to the breach of the building on Jan. 6, most of it’s because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the top Democrat said.
That’s left members following social distancing protocols and restrictions on tours and official visits.
“COVID is the villain. COVID is the villain to our economy, unless we crush the virus, we’re never going to get our economy back. COVID is the villain here unless everyone is vaccinated, mask wearers, honor separation, and the rest, we’ll still be at the mercy of that,” Pelosi added.
She said she couldn’t force members to get a COVID-19 vaccine but has tried telling Republicans that some of the things they want, such as shorter vote times, will happen if more get vaccinated.
COVID-19 is the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the top Republican in the lower chamber, recently urged Pelosi to roll back restrictions at the Capitol because more Americans, including more members, are getting a vaccine against the virus.
“Today, we have multiple vaccines with significant efficacy rates. COVID-19 cases and deaths are falling nationally. And experts predict a return to normalcy may be closer than we think,” he wrote to her last week.
McCarthy said roughly three in four House members have been or would soon be fully vaccinated.
“There’s a strong desire to get back to a regular floor schedule here on the floor where we are conducting our business, we have the ability to interact with each other as colleagues, it is a much different experience than when people have to trickle in, trickle out,” added House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) on the House floor during a recent debate.