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District Congressional Candidates’ Views on COVID-19 Mandates

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With the von Biden administration stressing the need to increase vaccine needs in the face of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, political leaders predict how the guidelines will affect Americans.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 61 percent of the US population is fully vaccinated. Almost 67 percent of Washington’s residents are fully vaccinated. Researchers estimate that between 70 and 80 percent of the US population must be immune to COVID-19 before it gradually wanes due to herd immunity.

A majority of Washington’s 3rd district challengers are speaking out loud about their opposition to mandates related to COVID-19 in general. With general elections coming up in less than a year, it is important to familiarize yourself with what candidates think about the matter.

Joe Kent, R-Yacolt, recently told Fox News that vaccination mandates are a huge risk for small businesses in the United States.

According to state guidance, employers with 100 or more employees must guarantee that their employees are either fully vaccinated or tested negative for COVID-19 on a weekly basis and are wearing a mask. The mandate is expected to come into full effect on January 4, 2022.

Small businesses certainly drive economic growth and are vital to the United States. Contrary to what Kent said, the vaccination mandate wouldn’t apply to the majority of small businesses, with 98 percent employing fewer than 100 people, according to the US Census Bureau.

It should be noted, however, that many organizations have already implemented their own related mandates, including Fox News.

Both Vicki Kraft, R-Vancouver, and Heidi St. John, R-Vancouver, claim that COVID-19 mandates threaten individual freedom and are anti-American. St. John goes a step further than their followers as their social media accounts are full of conspiratorial messages regarding the pandemic, often calling for Anthony Fauci’s arrest.

During a town hall in August, incumbent MP Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground said she had received a COVID-19 vaccination to protect her family but declined government intervention in imposing vaccine mandates. Since then, Herrera Beutler has been the quietest among the other conservative candidates in terms of vaccination and mask mandates.

In the conservative mix, Brent Hennrich, D-Vancouver, is the sole advocate of government intervention to protect public safety.

Lauren Ellenbecker

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