Press Releases

Hern votes to end the pandemic, end vaccine mandate on healthcare workers

Representative Kevin Hern (OK-010 released the following statement after voting YES on HR 382, the Pandemic is Over Act, and HR 497, the Freedom for Health Care Workers Act.

“Congress is under new management, and President Biden isn’t dealing with Democrat doormats anymore,” said Rep. Hern. “Americans moved on from lockdowns and mandates years ago; it’s long past time the federal government caught up. Oklahoma was one of the first states to reopen in 2020, and our people quickly returned to their lives. The public health emergency status serves no purpose but to prolong unnecessary power for the federal government over the lives of American citizens. I led the effort to overturn the vaccine mandate on private employers in 2021, which never should have happened in the first place. Today’s vote to end the mandate on health care workers is long overdue. I’m proud to vote YES on these important bills today.”

HR 382, the Pandemic is Over Act, ends the Public Health Emergency (PHE) declared by Secretary Alex Azar pursuant to section 319 of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act on January 31, 2020. The PHE for COVID-19 has been renewed 12 times, most recently on January 11, 2023, and is currently scheduled to expire in April 2023. 

HR 497, the Freedom for Health Care Workers Act, eliminates the COVID-19 vaccine mandate on health care providers under certain federal health care programs. The bill prevents the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) from implementing or enforcing the rule entitled “Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Omnibus COVID-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination” published by HHS on November 5, 2021.