July 14, 2024

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From Kalapuya lands in the Willamette watershed

Rep. Val Hoyle: Mandates aren’t working

2 min read
Rep. Val Hoyle issues a statement about her vote on H.R. 497 - Freedom for Health Care Workers Act.

by John Quetzalcoatl Murray

U.S. Rep. Val Hoyle was one of only seven Democrats voting for H.R. 497, – Freedom for Health Care Workers Act, which the House of Representatives passed 227-203 on Jan. 31.

Sponsored by Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., the act would eliminate the COVID–19 vaccine mandate “on health care providers furnishing items and services under certain Federal health care programs.”

After the title, the act consists of one sentence: “The Secretary of Health and Human Services may not implement, enforce, or otherwise give effect to the rule entitled ‘Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Omnibus COVID-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination’ published by the Department of Health and Human Services on Nov. 5, 2021 (86 Fed. Reg. 61555) and may not promulgate any substantially similar rule.”

Rep. Hoyle issued the following statement about her “Aye” vote.

“I believe in the science behind the COVID-19 vaccine and its impact on saving millions of lives. I also support employers having the option and ability to make hiring decisions based on vaccination status. However, there are still Americans skeptical about the protective measures taken during this pandemic as well as the amount of disinformation that uses government mandates as a vehicle to undermine our public health system. Until we rebuild trust, new government mandates will do little to persuade those who haven’t been vaccinated. The Biden Administration has signaled they will end the public health emergency this year. It’s now our job to build public trust, support measures toward a safe transition past this pandemic, and work to eliminate misinformation.” 

Rep. Val Hoyle, Feb. 14, 2023

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