Congress has an amount of vaccine reserved for its use but only 75% of Congress has taken the vaccine. Twenty-five percent of Congress is refusing to take the vaccine. So then there are problems in trying to return to normal Congressional action because some people may become ill and expose others to the illness. The members who refuse to take the vaccine are predominantly white male Republicans.
Republicans want to get back to the usual Congressional session and functioning, but the Democrats and the Office Attending Physician are less willing to change current pandemic procedures. Some of the members may have received vaccinations elsewhere and not reported to the Office Attending Physician, who cares for members of Congress and the Supreme Court. Some members may have previously had coronavirus and considered that they do not need to take the vaccine, but the current medical thought is that they should get vaccinated.
The Office of Attending Physician reinstated the use of the congressional gym showers, locker room and swimming pool on Friday evening, according to the memo. But Congress has not yet replaced proxy voting, extended voting sessions nor agreed to resume full-time, in-person committee hearings. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most recent guidelines suggest avoiding “large events and gatherings, when possible.”