News & Politics

Finally! Bill Introduced to Exempt Employees With Natural Immunity From Vaccine Mandate

Finally! Bill Introduced to Exempt Employees With Natural Immunity From Vaccine Mandate
AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

On Tuesday, Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) introduced a bill that would exempt workers from federal jab mandates if they could show proof of natural immunity. H.R. 5741 is referred to as the “Options Over Terminations Act.”

Rep. Newhouse said in a statement:

This legislation would provide an exemption to any Federal COVID–19 vaccine mandate for any Federal employee or contractor who provides proof of COVID–19 antibodies.

Newhouse explained the logic behind the measure:

Federal employees who have opted not to receive the vaccine because they have natural immunity developed after recovering from the virus do not deserve to be fired,” said Rep. Newhouse. “President Biden’s overreaching mandate has severe ramifications for communities across the country, especially for communities like Central Washington who make up a large part of the federal workforce. Instead of forcing our federal workforce to choose between employment and vaccination, my bill provides them with an option – a permissible, science-based exception from President Biden’s recent Executive Order.”

Major unions have been quick to back the proposal with their support.

“The working families of the UA and our Building Trades have been on the front lines since the beginning of this pandemic, risking their families health and safety to ensure our Federal and State projects never missed a beat,” stated Nickolas A. Bumpaous, Assistant Business Manager of Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 598 and the President of the Central WA Building Trades Council.

“For our members, becoming vaccinated is a personal choice between them and their families, their doctor, and their faith,” continued Bumpaous. “The narrow provisions required under this current executive order places our members between that intimate personal choice and their ability to earn a living for their families. Safe and effective alternatives to this mandate are paramount in protecting the health and safety of our workplaces and the individual liberties of our members. Congressman Newhouse’s legislation will ensure our members have access to the personal options and respect they deserve.”

“Reportedly, some 75 million workers in private workplaces across the country continue to show resistance or reluctance to the COVID-19 vaccines,” stated the National Electrical Contractors Association. “While we encourage our workforce to get vaccinated, it simply is not practical to impose expansive “one size fits all” programmatic mandates based on the state of the pandemic. We must also acknowledge the need to develop patient-centered solutions based on the medical evidence. To this end, we strongly urge the acknowledgment of infection-acquired immunity in addition to vaccine-acquired immunity. “We thank Rep. Newhouse for introducing this important piece of legislation.”

Related: Yale Study: Natural Immunity Protects Against COVID Three Times Longer Than Vaccine

Will the bill gain enough traction to pass through Congress and eventually become law? It’s early to say, according to GovTrack (a site that exists to make the legislative process more “open and accessible”):

This bill is in the first stage of the legislative process. It was introduced into Congress on October 26, 2021. It will typically be considered by committee next before it is possibly sent on to the House or Senate as a whole.

With the Democrats holding a very slim majority in both chambers, it remains to be seen whether the “Party of Science” will actually Follow the Science™ and get behind the measure. My personal prediction is that they will be hard-pressed to give up a tool (mandatory shots) that has proved so effective at punishing and impoverishing disobedient Americans.